Monday, August 8, 2011

Ann Patchett, State of Wonder, Excerpts

"A memorial service. You call it a memorial service when you don't have a body"


"Hope is a terrible thing, you know. I don't know who decided to package hope as a virtue because it's not. It's a plague. Hope is like walking around with a fishhook in your mouth and somebody just keeps pulling it and pulling it. Everybody thinks I'm a train wreck because Anders is dead but it's really so much worse than that. I'm still hoping that this Dr. Swenson, for some reason I couldn't possibly put together, has lied about everything, that she's keeping him, or she's lost him somewhere." Then Karen stopped and a sudden light of clarity came over her face and the panic fell away from her voice. "And I say that and I know it isn't true. No one would do that. But then that would mean he's dead." She put the question to Marina directly. "Is he dead?" she asked. "I just don't feel it. I would feel it, wouldn't I?" Her eyes filled up and she brushed the tears back with two fingers.

Nothing would be lovelier than a lie now, a single dose of possibility. But if Marina gave her that then she would be nothing but another fishhook in Karen Eckman's mouth. She said that Anders was dead.

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