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The Song of Achilles

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“Name one hero who was happy.”
I considered.  Heracles went mad and killed his family; Theseus lost his bride and father; Jason’s children and new wife were murdered by his old; Bellerophon killed the Chimera but was crippled by the fall from Pegasus’ back.
“You can’t.” He was sitting up now, leaning forward.
“I can’t.”
“I know. They never let you be famous and happy.”  He lifted an eyebrow.  “I’ll tell you a secret.”
“Tell me.”  I loved it when he was like this.
“I’m going to be the first.”

  • Patroclus and Achilles, in Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles

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City of Girls

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“I hope you’re having a good time, too.  People will tell you not to waste your youth having too much fun, but they’re wrong.  Youth is an irreplaceable treasure, and the only respectable thing to do with irreplaceable treasure is waste it.  So do the right thing with your youth, Vivian—squander it.”

  • Billy Buell in City of Girls, by Elizabeth Gilbert

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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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