Still reading, but some lines stood out at me, such as:
"He was silent, conceding to her once more; she was so much quicker with words than he. They saStill reading, but some lines stood out at me, such as:
"He was silent, conceding to her once more; she was so much quicker with words than he. They said good night; each pretended to sleep, and lay, breathing deeply to delude the other, eyes aching through the darkness, watching."
"When he saw them again, leaving after their good-by, they, too, looked like people in shock, and he thought briefly: would-shock - the cutting-away of a daughter."
"Sometimes, she thought ruefully, the world is so much sicker than the inmates of its institutions. She remembered Tilda, in the hospital in Germany, at a time when Hitler was on the other side of its walls and not even she could say which side was sane. Tilda's murderous hate, bound down on beds, tube-fed, and drugged into submission, could still fade long enough to let the light in now and then. She remembered Tilda looking up at her, smiling in a travesty of genteel politeness from the canvas-bound bed, and saying, "Oh, do come in, dear Doctor. You are just in time for the patient's soothing tea and the end of the world."
"Is it fair to take private patients when any real improvement may take years, and when thousands and tens of thousands are clamoring, writing, phoning, and begging for help? She laughed, catching in herself the vanity she had once called the doctor's greatest enemy next to his patient's illness. If one by one was good enough for God, it would have to do for her."
"She saw the pencil-doctor a few more times and learned that he was "ward administrator" and the one who gave permission for "privileges" - steps in similitude to the normal world-to get up and go out on the ward, to go to dinner, on the grounds, then out of the hospital itself to the movie or store. Each was a privilege and had a certain connotation of approval that seemed to be expressed in distances. To Deborah he gave permission to walk unrestricted on the grounds, but not outside. Deborah said to the large girl, whose name was Carla, "Well, I'm a hundred square yards sane." If there were such things as man-hours and light-years, surely there was foot-sanity."
"She is me, my own flesh. The hell with all of you!"
"When she went into their bedroom to put the letter away, she heard Suzy talking with a friend on the phone. She was saying, 'But I don't know...it's not just something you can plan for...I told you. My sister, Debbie, is very sick. No...They get these reports every month. No...it's not like that. It's that if the next one is bad, they won't feel like having anything here...Sure. Well, I'll let you know if it's all right.'
A sudden, helpless anger leaped into Esther's head, and her eyes burned with it for a moment. Deborah! Deborah-what has she done to us all!"
"Maybe it is a symptom. I once had a patient who used to practice the most horrible tortures on himself, and when I asked him why he did such things, he said, 'Why, before the world does them.' I asked him then, 'Why not wait and see what the world will do?' and he said, 'Don't you see? It always comes at last, but this way at least I am master of my own destruction.'"
"'I swear to you,' Esther said to the Deborah in her mind, 'I swear to you that I will not use you. I will not ask you what we did or didn't do.'"
"She went to the small hotel room to tell Jacob that Deborah still refused to see him. ... And after a while Jacob stopped insisting, but Esther saw him in the back of the theater, watching Deborah instead of the film. And as they came out she saw him standing in the shadows alone, watching her, and on the corner as they went into the restaurant, he was standing in the cold path of early winter."
"If one is to be doomed, one must be beautiful, or the drama is only a comedy."
I am not really a fan of the narrating style. It is very distant and somewhat cold. It shows and tells, and does so in attractive, natural prose that flows well. I'm currently slightly confused as to what is going on, but I think I can grow to like the book if I read on and grew more used to the writing style. The writing is quite beautiful....more