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Soldier of Fortune

A299BD0D-5E96-4DD1-A9AD-93DFF3031776“It was days like this, she decided, looking down at the rain-swept street, black days with a black sky and a heaviness in the air, that revealed things about Jane Hoyt—that Jane Hoyt didn’t like.  The specifications called for a Jane Hoyt who was more or less one-dimensional, alert, well-educated major in English literature, matter of fact, sense of humor, American society pigeonhole number sixteen, which was located a little below the junior league pigeonhole and a little above the shopgirl pigeonhole… There was no allowance in the pattern for healthy girls, regardless of pigeonhole, who still had a renegade ghost of savage underlying their well-groomed exterior.”

  • from Soldier of Fortune, by Earnest K. Gann

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Frenchman’s Creek

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“‘Do you remember my father’s aviary in Hampshire?’ she said, ‘and how the birds there were well fed, and could fly about their cage?  And one day I set a linnet free, and it flew straight out of my hands towards the sun?’
“‘What of it?’ he said, clasping his hands behind his back.
“‘Because I feel like that.  Like the linnet before it flew…'”

  • from Frenchman’s Creek, by Daphne Du Maurier

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Georgette Heyer

“He turned from her to meet Miss Marlow, and his gloomiest forebodings were realized.  She had neither beauty nor countenance, her complexion was poor and her figure worse, her dress was tasteless, and the colourless voice in which she murmured how-do-you-do confirmed him in his instant belief that she was insipid.  He wondered how soon he would be able to bring his visit to an end.”

  • Sylvester, by Georgette Heyer

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Child of the Northern Spring

image“The cheesemaker’s daughter and I were inseparable: nipping into and out of each other’s households as if we were fosterlings… climbing through the tall apple trees to gather the last of the fruit that still hung there… running to the gate as the hunting party brought in a full-sized boar, slung on a pole between two warriors… milking the cows as they grazed in the field or skimming the risen cream from the flat stone basins in the dairy yard.  And everywhere we turned there were apples…”

  • Child of the Northern Spring by Persia Woolley

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The Story of a New Name

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“…I had made the whole journey mainly to show her what she had lost and what I had won.  But she had known from the moment I appeared, and now, risking tensions with her workmates, and fines, she was explaining to me that I had won nothing, that in the world there is nothing to win, that her life was full of varied and foolish adventures as much as mine, and that time simply slipped away without any meaning, and it was good just to see each other every so often to hear the mad sound of the brain of one echo in the mad sound of the brain of the other.”

The Story of a New Name, by Elena Ferrante

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