British Author of Romance Novels and Women's Fiction
"And the wicked thing is that when we're really upset, we always take it out on the people who are closest and whom we love the most. "
"Grief is a funny thing because you don't have to carry it with you for the rest of your life. After a bit you set it down by the roadside and walk on and leave it. "
"Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word it always was. Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. "
"Beyond the pain, life continues to be sweet. The basics are still there. Beauty, food and friendship, reservoirs of love and understanding. Later, possibly not yet, you are going to need others who will encourage you to make new beginnings. Welcome them. They will help you move on, to cherish happy memories and confront the painful ones with more than bitterness and anger. "
"It was good, and nothing good is truly lost. It stays part of a person, becomes part of their character. So part of you goes everywhere with me. And part of me is yours, forever. "
"Happiness is making the most of what you have, and riches are making the most of what you've got. "
"It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive. Arrival often brings nothing but a sense of desolation and disappointment. "
"Marriage isn't a love affair. It isn't even a honeymoon. It's a job. A long hard job, at which both partners have to work, harder than they've worked at anything in their lives before. If it's a good marriage, it changes, it evolves, but it does on getting better. I've seen it with my own mother and father. But a bad marriage can dissolve in a welter of resentment and acrimony. I've seen that, too, in my own miserable and disastrous attempt at making another person happy. And it's never one person's fault. It's the sum total of a thousand little irritations, disagreements, idiotic details that in a sound alliance would simply be disregarded, or forgotten in the healing act of making love. Divorce isn't a cure; it's a surgical operation, even if there are no children to consider. "
"She believed, of course... because without something to believe in, life would be intolerable. "
"She remembered him smiling, and realized that time, that great old healer, had finally accomplished its work, and now, across the years, the face of love no longer stirred up agonies of grief and bitterness. Rather, one was left feeling simply grateful. For how unimaginably empty the past would be without him to remember. "
"She yawned and stretched, and settled back again on her pillows and thought how perfect it would be if sleep could not only restore one but iron out all anxieties in the same process, so that one could wake with a totally clear and untroubled mind, as smooth and empty as a beach, washed and ironed by the outgoing tide. "
"Things happen the way they're meant to. There's a pattern and a shape to everything...Nothing happens without a reason... Nothing is impossible."
"All of it was good, in every sense of the word. And in this life, nothing good is truly lost. It stays a part of a person, becomes part of their character. So part of you goes everywhere with me. And part of me is yours, forever."
"Alone. She realized how much she had missed the luxury of solitude, and knew that its occasional comfort would always be essential to her. The pleasure of being on one's own was not so much spiritual as sensuous, like wearing silk, or swimming without a bathing suit, or walking along a totally empty beach with the sun on your back. One was restored by solitude. Refreshed."
"A ring was the accepted sign of infinity, eternity. If her own life was that carefully described pencil line, she knew it all at once that the two ends were drawing close together. I have come full circle, she told herself, and wondered what had happened to all the years. It was a question, which from time to time, caused her some anxiety and left her fretting with a dreadful sense of waste. But now, it seemed, the question had become irrelevant, and so the answer, whatever it was, was no longer of any importance."
"For he was drinking too much. Not uncontrollably nor offensively, but still he seldom seemed to have a glass out of his hand."
"I wasn't good enough. I had a little talent but not enough. There is nothing more discouraging than having just a little talent."
"Grief was like a terrible burden, but at least you could lay it down by the side of the road and walk away from it. Antonia had come only a few paces, but already she could turn and look back and not weep. It wasn't anything to do with forgetting. It was just accepting. Nothing was ever so bad once you had accepted it."
"It was better not to get too close to another person. The closer you got, the more likely you were to get hurt."
"Oscar and I are very close, and yet I know that part of him is still withdrawn, even from me. As though part of him was still in another place. Another country. Journeying, perhaps. Or in exile. Across the sea. And I can't be with him, because I haven't got the right sort of passport."
"Not his real name, darling, but my own name for him. I never thought it could be like this. I never thought one could be so close, and yet so different to a single human being. He is everything I've never been, and yet I love him more than any person or anything I've ever known."
"She appeared to be ageless the type that would continue, unchanging, until she was an old woman when she would suddenly become senile and die"
"Other people's houses were always fascinating. As soon as you went through the door for the first time, you got the feel of the atmosphere, and so discovered something about the personalities of the people who lived there."
"She looked up and saw, high in the sky beyond the racing black clouds, a ragged scrap of blue sky. Enough to make a cat a pair of trousers."
"She had never lived alone before, and at first found it strange, but gradually had learned to accept it as a blessing and to indulge herself in all sorts of reprehensible ways, like getting up when she felt like it, scratching herself if she itched, sitting up until two in the morning to listen to a concert."
"She thought of the last couple of years: the boredom, the narrowness of existence, the dearth of anything to look forward to. Yet now, in a single instant, the curtains had been whipped aside, and the windows been thrown open onto a brilliant view that had been there, waiting for her, all the time. A view, moreover, laden with the most marvelous possibilities and opportunities."
"She put out her hand and touched his forearm, as she would have touched some piece of porcelain or sculpture, just for the sheer animal pleasure of feeling its shape and curve beneath her fingertips."
"The flat crouched around him, watching like a depressed relation, waiting for him to take some action."
"Weddings take months to organize, and there are fittings and invitation lists and old aunts being coy about the honeymoon, and having to have somebody's perfectly hideous cousin for a bridesmaid. And then hundreds of appalling wedding presents. Toast-racks and Japanese vases and pictures that never, in a million years, would you want to hang on the wall. And you spend all your time writing insincere thank-you letters with your fingers crossed, and everybody gets tense and miserable and there's lots of bursting into tears. The miracle is that anybody ever gets married at all, but I bet most girls have nervous breakdowns on their honeymoons."