A selection of favourite passages from the book
• I can’t seem to dredge up any sense of proportion or balance these days, and God knows one can’t write humour without them.
• I can’t think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can’t talk to, or worse, someone I can’t be silent with.
• I love seeing the bookshops and meeting the booksellers—booksellers really are a special breed. No one in their right mind would take up work in a bookshop for the wages, and no one in their right mind would want to own one—the margin of profit is too small. So, it has to be a love of readers and reading that makes them do it—along with first goes at the new books
• humour is the best way to make the unbearable bearable
• The Germans were erratic in dispensing their justice, so one never knew what sentence would be imposed
• Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books
• I think you learn more if you’re laughing at the same time.
• Boredom is a powerful reason to befriend the enemy, and the prospect of fun is a powerful draw
• Have you ever noticed that when your mind is awakened or drawn to someone new, that person’s name suddenly pops up everywhere?
• Then in the spring of 1940 Hitler got himself through Europe like a hot knife through butter. Every place fell to him. It was so fast
• Then, I tried to think of something happy, something I’d liked—but not something I loved, because that made it worse. Just a small thing, like a school picnic or bicycling downhill—that’s all I could stand.
• On the page, I’m perfectly charming, but that’s just a trick I’ve learnt. It has nothing to do with me
• You know how sounds become magnified by fog? Well, it was like that—every bird’s cry was weighty and symbolic
• For now, I will ask Kit over for supper and to spend the night with me so that Juliet and Dawsey can have the freedom of the shrubbery—just like Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.
• We could have gone on longing for one another and pretending not to notice for ever. This obsession with dignity can ruin your life if you let it.