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Marietta Greer Quotes

17 of the best book quotes from Marietta Greer
  1. #1
    “I thought of the color pictures in my grade-school history books: Columbus striding up the beach in his leotards and feathered hat, a gang of wild-haired men in loin clothes scattering in front of him like rabbits. What a joke.”
  2. #2
    “The most amazing thing was the way that child held on. From the first moment I picked it up out of its nest of wet blanket, it attached itself to me by its little hands like roots sucking on dry dirt. I think it would have been easier to separate me from my hair.”
  3. #3
    “I wondered how many other things were lurking around waiting to take a child’s life when you weren’t paying attention. I was useless. I was crazy to think I was doing this child a favor by whisking her away from the Cherokee Nation.”
  4. #4
    “They both wore clean work shirts, light blue with faded elbows. Esperanza had on a worn denim skirt and flat loafers. I had asked them please not to wear their very best for this occasion, not their Immigration-fooling clothes. It had to look like Turtle was going to be better off with me. When they came out that morning dressed as refugees I had wanted to cry out, No! I was wrong. Don’t sacrifice your pride for me. But this is how badly they wanted to make it work.”
  5. #5
    “Estevan and I talked about everything you could think of. He asked me if the alligator was a national symbol of the United States, because you saw them everywhere on people’s shirts, just above the heart.”
  6. #6
    “In our school there were different groups you would run with, depending on your station in life. There were the town kids, whose daddies owned the hardware store or what have you—they were your cheerleaders and your football players. Then there were hoodlums, the motorcycle types that cut down trees on Halloween. And then there were the rest of us, the poor kids and the farm kids. Greasers, we were called, or Nutters. The main rule was that there was absolutely no mixing.”
  7. #7
    “That’s not fair. You think you’re the foreigner here, and I’m the American, and I just look the other way while the President or somebody sends down this and that, shiploads of telephones to torture people with. But nobody asked my permission, okay? . . . Half the time I have no idea what’s going on around me here.”
  8. #8
    “You’re asking yourself, can I give this child the best possible upbringing and keep her out of harm’s way her whole life long? The answer is no, you can’t. But nobody else can either. Not a state home, that’s for sure . . . The best they can do is turn their heads while the kids learn to pick locks and snort hootch, and then try to keep them out of jail. Nobody can protect a child from the world. That’s why it’s the wrong thing to ask, if you’re really trying to make a decision.”
  1. #9
    “I stayed in school. I was not the smartest or even particularly outstanding but I was there and staying out of trouble and I intended to finish.”
  2. #10
    “Sometimes I feel like I’m a foreigner too. I come from a place that’s so different from here you would think you’d stepped right off the map into some other country where they use dirt for decoration and the national pastime is having babies. People don’t look the same, talk the same, nothing. Half the time I have no idea what’s going on around me here.”
  3. #11
    “Does it make you tired, being so far away from what you know? That’s how I feel sometimes, that I would just like to crawl in a hole somewhere and rest. Go dormant, like those toad frogs Mattie told us about. And for you it’s just that much worse; you’re not even speaking your own language.”
  4. #12
    “Mattie’s, of course, was a tire store and sanctuary. Slowly I was coming to understand exactly what this meant. For one thing, people came and went quietly. And stayed quietly. Around to the side of Mattie’s place, above the mural Lou Ann and I called Jesus Around the World, there was an upstairs window that looked out over the park. I saw faces there, sometimes Esperanza’s and sometimes others, staring across the empty space.”
  5. #13
    “There were two things about Mama. One is she always expected the best out of me. And the other is that then no matter what I did, whatever I came home with, she acted like it was the moon I had just hung up in the sky and plugged in all the stars. Like I was that good.”
  6. #14
    “Mattie started up the machine, which made the front tires of Roger’s Toyota spin around, and after a minute she lay down on one shoulder and adjusted something under the front. She didn’t get that dirty, either. I had never seen a woman with this kind of know-how. It made me feel proud, somehow.”
  7. #15
    “Later that night when the kids were in bed I realized exactly what was bugging me: the idea of Lou Ann reading magazines for child-raising tips and recipes and me coming home grouchy after a hard day’s work. We were like some family on a TV commercial, with names like Myrtle and Fred. I could just hear us striking up a conversation about air fresheners.”
  8. #16
    “It must have been a very long time since Esperanza and Estevan had been in a place where they looked just like everybody else, including cops. The relief showed in their bodies. I believe they actually grew taller. And Turtle fit right in too; this was her original home. I was the odd woman out.”
  9. #17
    “We were stopped by Immigration about a hundred miles this side of the New Mexico border. Mattie had warned me of this possibility and we had all prepared for it as best we could. Esperanza and Estevan were dressed about as American as you could get without looking plain obnoxious: he had on jeans and an alligator shirt donated from some church on the east side where people gave away stuff that was entirely a cut above New To You. Esperanza was wearing purple culottes, a yellow T-shirt, and sunglasses with pink frames.”

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Book Topics › sacrifice
Children's Books About Sacrifice