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A Great and Terrible Beauty Quotes

22 of the best book quotes from A Great and Terrible Beauty
  1. #1
    “Tell Mary to leave me alone. I don’t want this power she’s giving me.”
    “She’s not giving you the power, miss. Just showing you the way.”
    “Well, I don’t want to follow! Do you understand, Mary Dowd?”
  2. #2
    “An actress,” Tom sneers, “What sort of way is that for a woman to live, without a solid home, husband, children? Running about like she’s her own lord and master. She’ll certainly never be accepted in society as a proper lady.”
  3. #3
    “After all, they have money and position and Ann has none. It’s amazing how often you can be right as long as you have those two things working in your favor.”
  4. #4
    “I’m in up to my shoulder when I feel something solid. It’s stuck fast, and I have to pull hard to bring it into the light. It’s a leather bound diary.”
  5. #5
    “We used to go everywhere together, my mother and I—visiting ancient temples, exploring local museums, watching Hindu festivals, staying up late to see the streets bloom with candlelight Now, she barely takes me on social calls. It’s as if I’m a leper without a colony.”
  6. #6
    “Mother was Father’s equal,” I say coolly. “He didn’t expect her to walk behind him like some pining imbecile.”
  7. #7
    “Oh, Gemma, how could I tell you what I’d done? That’s the curse of mothers, you know. We’re never prepared for how much we love our children, for how much we wish we could protect them by being perfect.”
  1. #8
    “And when he couldn’t sleep, he retired to his study and the laudanum bottle that had become his constant companion. Sometimes I’d find him asleep in his chair, the dogs at his feet, the brown bottle close at hand […] he’d grown thinner, whittled down by grief and opium. And I could only stand by, helpless and mute, the cause of it all.”
  2. #9
    “To be found alone with a man is shocking—a reason for a quick and necessary wedding. But to be found with a Gypsy! If I were to tell, Felicity would be ruined for life.”
  3. #10
    “It’s a dream, only a dream. That’s what I tell myself when I wake up […] But it felt so real. I put my fingers to my lips. They’re not swollen with kissing. I’m still whole. Pure.”
  4. #11
    ″[…] A man wants a woman who will make life easy for him. She should be attractive, well groomed, knowledgeable in music, painting, and running a house, but above all, she should keep his name above scandal and never call attention to herself.”
  5. #12
    “And I could only stand by, helpless and mute, the cause of it all. The keeper of a secret so terrible it made me afraid to speak, scared that it would pour out of me like kerosene, burning everyone.”
  6. #13
    “Right now, with that lock of hair falling in his eyes, he’s the brother I’ve missed, the one who once brought me stones from the sea, told me they were Rajah’s jewels. I want to tell him that I’m afraid I’m going mad by degrees and that nothing seems entirely real to me anymore. I want to tell him about the vision […] I want to tell him everything and have him understand.”
  7. #14
    “My breath catches in my throat. A tingle starts in my fingertips. No. I won’t be pulled under. Begone.”
  1. #15
    “My scream implodes inside me. Mother looks back, sees the dagger lying there, grabs it. The thing howls in outrage. She’s going to fight it. She’s going to be alright. […] In one swift motion, she raises the dagger and plunges it into herself.”
  2. #16
    “I don’t care if you come home at all. It was the last thing I’d said to her. Before I ran away. Before she came after me. Before I saw her die in a vision. […] And then the scream I’ve been holding back comes pouring out of me… ”
  3. #17
    “I can’t stand the sight of them huddled together against the truth, deaf and dumb to anything remotely real.”
  4. #18
    “A sudden fear takes root […] conversations I’ve overhead in my father’s study—tales […] about the fate of an unescorted woman, overpowered by bad men, her life ruined forever.”
  5. #19
    “Now, it is very important that you conduct yourself in a manner befitting to your station while at Spence. It’s fine to be kind to the lesser girls, but remember that they are not your equals.”
  6. #20
    “My sobs are great gasping hiccups. Miss Moore holds me in her sure arms, which remind me so much of my mother’s right now, I can barely stand it.”
  7. #21
    “Tom clears his throat. “What I mean to say is, did something happen to you? Did he…are you quite all right?” […]
    “You want to know if I’m still chaste?”
    “If you want to put it so plainly, yes.”
    Now I see that […] He’s only concerned that I haven’t shamed the family somehow.”
  8. #22
    “My family is vaguely Anglican, like everyone else, but the truth is that we rarely went to church in India. On Sundays, Mother took me for picnics under hot, cloudless skies. We’d sit on a blanket and listen to the wind whip across dry land, whistling to us.
    “This is our church,” she’d say combing fingers through my hair.”
Book Topics › vision
Children's Books About Vision