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Across the Nightingale Floor Quotes

10 of the best book quotes from Across the Nightingale Floor
01
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“In the distance thunder echoed round the mountains. The air was heavy and humid. I was sweating, but the sweat was turning cold in my forehead. I jumped across the ditch of the last terraced field and looked down to where my home had always been. The house was gone.”
Lian Hearn
author
Across the Nightingale Floor
book
mountains
descriptions
distance
thunder storm
echoes
illustrations
remote village
rounding
sweating
jumping across
concepts
02
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“The village dogs were barking, as they often did at the end of the day. The smell grew stronger and turned acrid. I was not frightened, not then, but some premonition made my heart start to beat more quickly. There was a fire ahead of me. Fires often broke out in the village: Almost everything we owned was made of wood or straw.”
03
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“My mother used to threaten to tear me into eight piece if I knocked over the water bucket, or pretended not to hear her calling me to come home as the dusk thickened and the cicadas’s shrilling increased. I would hear her voice, brought and fierce, echoing through the lonely valley. “Where is that wretched boy? I will tear him apart when he gets back.”
04
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“But when I did get back, muddy from sliding down the hillside, bruised from fighting, once bleeding great spouts of blood from a stone wound to the head (I still have the scar, like a silver thumbnail), there would be the fire, and the smell of soup, and my mother’s arms not tearing me apart but trying to hold me, clean my face, or straighten my hair, while I twisted like a lizard to get away from her.”
05
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“I turned fifteen and my mother began to lose our wrestling matches. I grew six inches in a year, and by the time I was sixteen I was taller than my stepfather. He grumbled more often, that I should settle down, stop roaming the mountain like a wild monkey, marry into one fo the village families.”
06
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“I went closer. Flames still crept and licked at the blackened beams. There was no sign of my mother or my sisters. I tried to call out, but my tongue had suddenly become too big for my mouth, and the smoke was choking me and making my eyes stream. The whole village was on fire, but where was everyone?”
07
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She was strong from endless hard work, and not old: She’d given birth to me before she was seventeen, and when she held me I could see we had the same skin, although in other ways we were not much alike she having broad, placid features, while mine, I’d been told (for we had no mirrors in the remote mountain village of Mino), were finer, like a hawk’s.
08
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“The wrestling usually ended with her winning, her prize being the hug I could no escape from. And her voice would whisper in my ears the words of blessing of the Hidden, while my stepfather grumbled mildly she spoiled me, and the little girls, my half-sisters jumped around us for their share of the hug and the blessing.”
09
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“Then the screaming began. It came from the direction of the shrine, around which most of the houses clustered. It was like the sound of a dog howling in pain, except the dog could speak human words, scream them in agony. I though I recognized the prayers of the Hidden, and all the hair stood up on my neck and arms. Slipping like a ghost between the burning houses, I went towards the sound.”
10
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“I didn’t mind the idea of marriage to one of the girls I’d grown up with, and that summer I worked harder alongside him, ready to make my place among the men of the village. But every now and then, I could no resist the lure of the mountain and at the end of the day I slipped away.”

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