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288 pages, ebook
First published June 5, 2018
“Of all the stories about my family, the Fernweh women and the island of By-the-Sea, there are two that no one will ever forget. One is the story of how my sister, Mary, and I were born. And the other is the story of the summer we turned eighteen. This summer.”
“I think a person can be a home, sometimes, just as much as a place or a house can.”
“Because there was nothing in a girl’s history that might negate her right to choose what happens to her body.”
“How I would miss you—every part of you—but especially the smell, always the smell: of salt, of brine, of water, of spells, or potions, or feathers, and of what it would mean to leave it all in just two months.”
"Are you happy at all?" she asked tentatively.
"Of course I'm happy. Why wouldn't I be happy?"
"Oh, I don't know. Sometimes you just find reasons not to be."
"The dead loved promises; the living loved promising."
"She was born for oceanside bonfires, long gauzy dresses and uncombed hair, the scent of salt like a blanket you can't peel off your skin. She was born for the smell of the water, for the way it sank into your bones, stained your skin, dyed your blood a deep, salty blue."
"You're so f*cking dramatic," I said.
Mary kissed the air in my general direction.
"She wore an ankle-length dress the colour of midnight. Which is not exactly my cup of tea, but adds to the aesthetic. Old inn, old island, old scary dress, you get it, she'd once said."
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“On the island of By-the-Sea you could always smell two things: salt and magic.”
“In a family full of girls, you realize quickly that no girls are ordinary. Whether or not they turn into birds, girls could fly and make magic all their own.”
“[...] there was nothing in a girl’s history that might negate her right to choose what happens to her body.”
I think a person can be a home, sometimes, just as much as a place or a home can