• You couldn't relive your life, skipping the awful parts, without losing what made it worthwhile. You had to accept it as a whole--like the world, or the person you loved

    Stewart O'Nan
  • She had a vision of the two of them trapped on a tiny raft surrounded by miles of open water. It would be a kind of test, like surviving on a desert island--but that's what a marriage was, wasn't it? They would have to help each other or die

    Stewart O'Nan
  • They should.""Should be like a wood bee," she said.It was a private joke, a mocking appreciation of the slipperiness of even the simplest hope, a nonce catchphrase like so many others lifted from favorite movies or TV shows that served as a rote substitute for conversation and bound them like shut-in twins, each other's best and, most often, only audience

    Stewart O'Nan
  • There was a lot about Kim and J.P. he didn't get.... he was confused by their lack of romance. As a father, he was at times grateful for that missing intensity, but as a man who liked to surprise his wife with flowers, it baffled him. Maybe he was old-fashioned, but to him a couple meant a strong bond, with positive and negative charges constantly arcing between them. He'd never seen Kim and J.P. kiss, let alone argue

    Stewart O'Nan
  • I'm sorry you don't like coming back here," her mother often said, to cap whatever petty dust-up they'd had. How could Emily explain: it wasn't her mother or Kersey she'd disowned, but her earlier self, that strange, ungrateful girl who strove to be first at everything and threw tantrums when she failed

    Stewart O'Nan
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