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Christina Baker Kline quotes (showing 1-30 of 222)

“I've come to think that's what heaven is- a place in the memory of others where our best selves live on.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“I like the assumption that everyone is trying his best, and we should all just be kind to each other.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“I learned long ago that loss is not only probable but inevitable. I know what it means to lose everything, to let go of one life and find another. And now I feel, with a strange, deep certainty, that it must be my lot in life to be taught that lesson over and over again.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
tags: loss
“So is it just human nature to believe that things happen for a reason - to find some shred of meaning even in the worst experiences?”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“Time constricts and flattens, you know. It's not evenly weighted. Certain moments linger in the mind and others disappear.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“Do you believe in spirits? Or ghosts?...Yes, I do. I believe in ghosts....They're the ones who haunt us. The ones who have left us behind."

"Vivian has come back to the idea that the people who matter in our lives stay with us, haunting our ordinary moments. They're with us in the grocery store, as we turn the corner, chat with a friend. They rise up through the pavement; we absorb them through our soles."

"The things that matter stay with you, seep into your skin.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“And so it is that you learn how to pass, if you're lucky, to look like everyone else, even though you're broken inside.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“people who matter in our lives stay with us, haunting our most ordinary moments. They’re with us in the grocery store, as we turn a corner, chat with a friend. They rise up through the pavement; we absorb them through our soles.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“She knows too well what it's like to tamp down your natural inclinations, to force a smile when you feel numb. [...] The expression of emotion does not come naturally, so you learn to fake it. To pretend. To display an empathy you don't really feel. And so it is that you learn to pass, if you're lucky, to look like everyone else, even though you're broken inside.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“It is good to test your limits now and then, learn what the body is capable of, what you can endure.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“My entire life has felt like chance. Random moments of loss and connection. This is the first one that feels, instead, like fate.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“I love you," he writes again and again. "I can't bear to live without you. I'm counting the minutes until I see you." The words he uses are the idioms of popular songs and poems in the newspaper. And mine to him are no less cliched. I puzzle over the onionskin, trying to spill my heart onto the page. But I can only come up with the same words, in the same order, and hope the depth of feeling beneath them gives them weight and substance. I love you. I miss you. Be careful. Be safe.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“It's human nature to want to think the best of others, but if you listen carefully, people will always tell you who they are. ”
Christina Baker Kline, Bird in Hand
“You got to learn to take what people are willing to give.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“I am not glad she is dead, but I am not sorry she is gone.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“She has never tried to find out what happened to her family — her mother or her relatives in Ireland. But over and over, Molly begins to understand as she listens to the tapes, Vivian has come back to the idea that the people who matter in our lives stay with us, haunting our most ordinary moments. They're with us in the grocery store, as we turn a corner, chat with a friend. They rise up through the pavement; we absorb them through our soles.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“You can't find peace until you fin fall the pieces.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“you can’t find peace until you find all the pieces. She wants to help Vivian find some kind of peace, elusive and fleeting as it may be.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“Molly learned long ago that a lot of the heartbreak and betrayal that other people fear their entire lives, she has already faced. Father dead. Mother off the deep end. Shuttled around and rejected time and time again. And still she breathes and sleeps and grows taller. She wakes up every morning and puts on clothes. So when she says it's okay, what she means is that she knows she can survive just about anything.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“you are only as interesting as you are useful to someone”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“Turtles carry their homes on their backs.” Running her finger over the tattoo, she tells him what her dad told her: “They’re exposed and hidden at the same time. They’re a symbol of strength and perseverance.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“When something terrible happens, a lifetime of small events and unremarkable decisions, of unresolved anger, and unexplored fears begins to play itself out in ways you least expect. You've been going along from one day to the next, not realizing that all those disparate words and gestures were adding up to something, a conclusion, you didn't anticipate. And later, when you begin to retrace your steps you see that you will need to reach back further than you could have imagined, beyond words and thoughts and even dreams, perhaps to make sense of what happened.”
Christina Baker Kline
“Mrs. Scatcherd raps Dutchy's knuckles several times with a long wooden ruler, though it seems to me a halfhearted penalty. He barely winces, then shakes his hands twice in the air and winks at me. Truly , there isn't much more she can do. Stripped of family and identity, fed meager rations, consigned to hard wooden seats until we are to be, as Slobbery Jack suggested, sold into slavery — our mere existence is punishment enough.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“He reaches over and touches my necklace. "You still have it. That gives me faith."
"Faith in what?"
"God, I suppose. No, I don't know. Survival.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“So is it just human nature to believe that things happen for a reason — to find some shred of meaning even in the worst experiences?" Molly asks when Vivian reads some of these stories aloud.
"It certainly helps," Vivian says.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“Upright and do right make all right.”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“I have come to think that's where Heaven is, a place in the memories of other where our best selves live”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“...life hinges on small moments and seemingly trivial decisions. ”
Christina Baker Kline, Bird in Hand
“Forgive me if I'm wrong. But are you-were you-did you come here on a train from New York about ten years ago?”
Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
“Each moment of loss, she has come to believe, contains within it the possibility of a new life. When the unimaginable happens, and your life changes irrevocably, you may find along with the pain a kind of grace. And in the place of certainty and fear—the fear of losing what you had—you are left with something startling: a depth of empathy, a quivering sensitivity to the world around you, and the unexpected blessing of gratitude for what remains.”
Christina Baker Kline, Bird in Hand

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