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    “Early love is exciting and exhilarating. It's light and bubbly. Anyone can love like that. But after three children, after a separation and a near-divorce, after you've hurt each other and forgiven each other, bored each other and surprised each other, after you've seen the worst and the best-- well, that sort of love is ineffable. It deserves its own word.”
    #it s called commitment
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    “Each memory, good and bad, was another invisible thread that bound them together...It was as simple and complicated as that. Love after children, after you've hurt each other and forgiven each other, bored each other and surprised each other, after you've seen the worst and the best...-well, that sort of love is ineffable. It deserves its own word.”
    #romantically honest
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    “They would think she was savoring the taste (blueberries, cinnamon, cream-excellent), but she was actually savoring the whole morning, trying to catch it, pin it down, keep it safe before all those precious moments became yet another memory.”
    #life#moments#remembering
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    “He got Alice, the way we did, or maybe even more so than us. He made her more confident, funnier, smarter. He brought out all the things that were there already and let her be fully herself, so she seemed to shine with this inner light.”
    #love
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    “We'd traveled, we'd been to lots of parties, lots of movies and concerts, we'd slept in. We'd done all those things that people with children seem to miss so passionately. We didn't want those things anymore. We wanted a baby.”
    #baby#parenthood
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    “And even though I adore the fact that Francesca has Ben's eyes, I also see now that her biological connection to us is irrelevant. She is her own little person. She is Francesca. If we weren't her "natural" parents, we would still have loved her just as much.”
    #adoption#child
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    “That's what's so embarrassing about all this. Each time I sobbed for a lost baby, it was like sobbing over the end of a relationship when I'd never even gone out with the guy. My babies weren't babies. They were just microscopic clusters of cells that weren't ever going to be anything else. they were just my own desperate hopes. Dream babies. And people have to give up on dreams.”
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    “Alice would give anything, anything at all, to be lying in bed with Nick, waiting for a cup of tea. Maybe he got sick of making her cups of tea? Was that it? Had she taken him for granted? Who did she think she was, some sort of princess, lying in bed waiting for cups of tea to be delivered.”
    #humor
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    “We were so happy.”
    #happiness
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    “Nick explained that an aperitif was an pre-dinner drink. Nick came from an aperitif-drinking family. Alice came from a family with one dusty bottle of Baileys sitting hopefully in the back of the pantry with the tins of spaghetti.”
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    “I can hardly bear to think of ourselves hugging and crying and making giggly phone calls, like we were in some inane sitcom. We actually discussed names. Names! I want to shout back through the years at myself, "Just because you're pregnant doesn't mean you get a baby, you idiots!”
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    “It’s true I’ve never been pregnant, but I know it’s like to lose the possibility of a baby. So of course I sympathize with Elizabeth, Phil! Deeply! My heart breaks for her. I’ve cried and cried for her each time she’s lost another baby.
    It’s just that sometimes I want to say to her, Darling, maybe you don’t get to be a mother, but you still get to be a wife.”
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    “Ben told me that Tom had just spoken on the mobile to Alice and according to Tom she didn’t say anything about falling over at the gym and she sounded Just like Mum except maybe ten to fifteen percent grumpier than usual. I think he’s learning percentages at school right now.”
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    “He sounded so certain. Whenever they had an argument about a point of fact, he was always so utterly confident that he had it right and she had it wrong. He never even entertained the possibility that he might be mistaken. It drove her bananas. She struggled with an irresistible urge to slap him across the face.”
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    “...life would go back to being unendurable, except-and this was the worst part-she would in fact endure it, it wouldn't kill her, she'd keep on living day after day after day, an endless loop of glorious sunrises and sunsets that Janie never got to see.”
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    “Janie eating. Janie sulking. Janie with her friends. Including him. That boy. His head turned away from the camera, looking at Janie, as if she’d just said something smart and funny. What did she say? Every time, she always wondered that. What did you just say, Janie? Rachel pressed her fingertip to his grinning, freckled face, and watched her mildly arthritic, age-spotted hand curl into a fist.”
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    “I don’t know how she feels about me, but I sort of like her. I mean, I’m sickened by her existence obviously, but I find her strangely compelling.”
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    “It gave me a shock. A sudden shock of indescribable pain, like when you’re a kid, and you’re hit on the nose with a basketball on a cold morning, and you cannot believe how much it hurts, and your friends all laugh and you want your mother so bad.”
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    “She always pretended to herself that she didn’t let Lauren help because she was trying to be the perfect mother-in-law, but really, when you didn’t let a woman help, it was a way of keeping her at a distance, of letting her know that she wasn’t family, of saying I don’t like you enough to let you into my kitchen. Lauren reappeared”
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    “I took so long coming to the door. I had no idea crutches were so damned tricky. I imagined myself swinging jauntily along, but they dig into your armpits like I don’t know what.”