May 20, 2013

Quotes from Kingslover's Flight Behavior Novel

Luther was the last shearer standing. Younger men wanted nothing to do with such hard work, preferring to drive some rig or gaze at a screen.
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Dovey observed to Dellarobia that there was no end to the amount of effort a man would put into saving himself some work.

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His bewildered sexual gratitude, as near a thing to religious awe as a girl of her station could likely inspire. These boyish things had made him lovable. But you could run out of gas on boyish, that was the thing.
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Here we go, she thought, into the quicksands of stupid. 

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everything living now seemed to yearn for sun with the anguish of the unloved.

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Four wings, with the symmetry of a bow-tied shoelace. Preston had spent all of a recent morning trying to tie a bow, biting his lower lip in concentration, but here was perfection without effort. 
A movement of clouds altered the light, and all across the valley, the butterfly skin of the world transfigured in response, opening all the wings at once to the sun.

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It did get her out, among people. Whether friend or foe hardly mattered; they ate with their mouths closed and wore shoes without Velcro...being a stay-at-home mom was the loneliest kind of lonely, in which she was always and never by herself. Days and days, hours and hours within them, and days within weeks, at the end of which she might not ever have gotten completely dressed or read any word longer than Chex...Just motherhood, with its routine costs of providing a largesse that outstripped her physical dimensions. She’d seen ewes in the pasture whose sixty-pound twins would run underneath together and bunt the udders to release the milk with sharp upward thrusts, jolting the mother’s hindquarters off the ground. That was the picture, overdrawn. A gut-twisting life of love, consecrated by the roof and walls that contained her and the air she was given to breathe. 

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An hour in the cafĂ©, the slake of a tall cup of coffee, and stillness, and wearing shoes, a clean tile floor, time off for good behavior. 

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She was what Hester called a 911 Christian: in the event of an emergency, call the Lord. Unlike all those who called on Jesus daily, rain or shine, to discuss their day and feel the love. Once upon a time she’d had her mother for that. Jesus was a more reliable backer, evidently, less likely to drink himself unconscious or get liver cancer. No wonder people chose Him as their number-one friend. But if the chemistry wasn’t there, what could you do? 

For a year she’d gone with Cub to Wednesday Bible group and loved the sense of being back in school, but her many questions did not make her the teacher’s pet. Right out of the gate, in Genesis, she identified two completely different versions of how it all got started. The verses could be a listen-and-feel kind of thing, like music, she’d suggested, not like the instruction booklet that comes with a darn appliance. 

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Pastor Ogle had lured Hester over from a harder line of Baptists, and Dellarobia knew some marital compromise was involved. Bear had stopped attending over there. Here he could sit out the service in Men’s Fellowship, which had checkers and country music pitched low enough you could still hear the sermon on the closed-circuit if you so desired. Bobby had found the key to modern believers: that many preferred their salvation experience to come with a remote. 

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Dovey liked to text her on Sunday mornings for her own entertainment. There was one waiting now: COME YE FISHERS OF MEN: YOU CATCH, GOD WILL CLEAN. Dovey’s fondness for one-liners-in-Christ was bottomless, she collected them off church marquees. 

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