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A Break with Charity Quotes

23 of the best book quotes from A Break with Charity
  1. #1
    “Forget? I think I never will. Nor will the others assembled here now. How can we ever forget how the community was torn asunder, how smashed and ruined houses of some accused were left to the wind and the wolves? How businesses went bad because outsiders refused to have dealings with those in Salem for years afterward?”
  2. #2
    “After a few moments, Mama raised her head. “One of the things you will someday learn, daughters,” she said to me, “is that parents are never sure if certain decisions we make concerning our children are right.”
  3. #3
    “Of course, some of the girls are no longer children. Yet they are not allowed to be women. They are not married. There is no place for them in this way of life here. Except to do hard work or study scriptures. Their hopes and desires die on the vine. This turns them inward. They are seeking ways out of themselves. So they come to Tituba.”
  4. #4
    “I was, after all, Susanna English, and our family had never needed anyone’s help to gain entrance anywhere.”
  5. #5
    “But there was some undercurrent of understanding between this mother and daughter that had more to do with evil than with love. I was sensible of that immediately. It was as if these two moved together through dark and swirling waters toward some whirlpool they could not avoid. And would not think of avoiding.”
  6. #6
    “Oh, if I had only known that day so long ago when I stood outside the parsonage in the cold, aching to belong to that circle of girls who did not want me.[…]
    I close my eyes and tremble with the memory. Wishing I could bring it back. Wishing. For I remember just how it was, and where I was standing and what I was feeling in that moment it was given to me to decide what to do.”
  7. #7
    “And I knew in my bones, in that moment, that what went on in these study walls would soon disrupt our whole way of life in Salem. And I was powerless to do anything about it. I felt myself go limp with fear. “I must go now,” I said to Ann Putnam.
    “Do go. And remember what I said this day. And thank you for the apple tarts.” Her evil laughter followed me out of the room.
  1. #8
    “I honor my father, Susanna. But I tremble to see him denouncing our friends and neighbors. We’ll not have a friend left when this business is done. I told him so, and we argued fiercely. I am afraid a rift is coming between us that will never heal.”
    “I can’t do anything about the rift between you and your father, Johnathan,” I said. “But you’ll have me for a friend. Always.”
  2. #9
    “I fear the other girls in the circle will make a mockery of me when I testify,” Mary confided. She sat in the chair and broke into weeping.
    I went to put my arm around her. She gripped my hand. […]
    Johnathan and I stayed with Mary in that room above the tavern. We quieted her and promised we would be in court.
  3. #10
    “We went once that week to see Mama in Salem Prison. It was such a terrible place that Mary and I wept openly. But Mama was so busy attending to the other women that she could not abide our tears.”
  4. #11
    “I stand as guilty as they. For I knew better and did not step forth to try to stop the madness. Certainly not in any manner that counted. I held back, afraid.”
  5. #12
    “Beg forgiveness, indeed! After fourteen years! I see no purpose to it. The dead are dead; those who remain behind cannot forget. But then, just as I am about to close my heart against Ann, I recollect my part in the madness that came to our village in 1692. And I know I am as guilty as Ann or any of the girls in that circle of accusers.”
  6. #13
    “And when that time comes, Susanna, you must agree to come with me and tell what you know. Will you do that?”
    “Yes, Joseph.”
    “I will stand by you. You must not be afraid. This is a brave land, Susanna, founded by brave people who never shrank from their duty or their vision of freedom. But this land has a future only if each of us stands up for what is right when it is given us to do so.”
  7. #14
    “All those who were most wronged will forgive her and welcome her back into the congregation.
    But who will forgive me?”

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  1. #15
    “I will go, but I will not forgive Ann Putnam. You cannot ask me to do that, husband,” I told him. And I wonder, now that I am here, how I can look on her face again without seeing the faces of all whom she destroyed.”
  2. #16
    “They moved away from her and left her alone in her pew. I could not bear it, so I bade Mary stay in our pew and went to sit beside her. I held her hand. She was trembling.”
    […]
    ”‘Friend of witches,’ they hissed at me when I left,” Mama recounted. “Oh, I shall never forget it.”
  3. #17
    “I’d learned, too, that I was not the only one dissatisfied with our way of life in Salem. Abigail Hobbs was trying to escape its suffocating effects. And, if I were to be truly honest with myself, so were the girls in the circle. ”
  4. #18
    “I am a stranger in this church. Indeed, I have not been here since spring of 1692, so long ago now that it seems but a dim memory, and the girl I was at that time seems certainly like another person. Me and yet not me, that young girl. For she was as innocent to the dangers around her as my own baby daughter who now sleeps peacefully in my arms.”
  5. #19
    “So I said, ‘Yes, I will go,’ though in my heart I will never understand why we women are always assigned the task of peacemaking. ‘I will go, but I will not forgive Ann Putnam. You cannot ask me to do that, husband’ I told him. And I wonder, now that I am here, how I can look on her face again without seeing the faces of all whom she destroyed. ”
  6. #20
    “Mulling over the whole matter as I sit in church waiting for Ann Putnam to appear, I mind how painful it is to recollect the events of those days. But once we allow memory to open its floodgates, we are hard put to stop its flow.”
  7. #21
    “Mostly I thought of Mama. And when I first sat here, with my three-year-old boy beside me and the baby in my arms, it was Mama’s face I saw, Mama’s voice I heard, like it was yesterday.”
  8. #22
    “The elders are looking for someone to blame. We will give them many someones.”
    “You will give forth the names of people as witches? When you know you girls are not really afflicted?”
    “We will, and the elders will be glad to know that the cause of the bickering and trouble in this place lies not at their own feet but is the fault of witches living amongst us.”
  9. #23
    “There was nothing I could do now, even if I had a mind to. Anyone who spoke out against them was named or had someone in their family cried out on. The evil the girls had started had taken on a life of its own and was gaining momentum, like a ship under full sail with good trade winds behind it. ”

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