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The Cruelest Month

Louise Penny

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Love wants the best for others. Attachment takes hostages.”

“Loss was like that, Gamache knew. You didn’t just lose a loved one. You lost your heart, your memories, your laughter, your brain and it even took your bones. Eventually it all came back, but different. Rearranged.”

“Gamache knew people were like homes. Some were cheerful and bright, some gloomy. Some could look good on the outside but feel wretched on the interior. And some of the least attractive homes, from the outside, were kindly and warm inside. He also knew the first few rooms were for public consumption. It was only in going deeper that he'd find the reality. And finally, inevitably, there was the last room, the one we keep locked, and bolted and barred, even from ourselves. Especially from ourselves.”

“The terror of falling asleep knowing that on waking she’d relive the loss, like Prometheus bound and tormented each day. Everything had changed. Even her grammar. Suddenly she lived in the past tense. And the singular.”

“Some mothers see their job as preparing their kids to live in the big old world. To be independent, to marry and have children of their own. To live wherever they choose and do what makes them happy. That’s love. Others, and we all see them, cling to their children. Move to the same city, the same neighborhood. Live through them. Stifle them. Manipulate, use guilt-trips, cripple them.’ ‘Cripple them? How?’ ‘By not teaching them to be independent.”

“There are four statements that lead to wisdom. I want you to remember them and follow them. Are you ready?’ Agent Lemieux had taken out his notebook and, pen poised, he’d listened. ‘You need to learn to say: I don’t know. I’m sorry. I need help and I was wrong.”

“It takes years for the moth to evolve from an egg into an adult," he said. "In its final stage the caterpillar spins a cocoon and then it dissolves completely until it's just liquid, then it transforms. It becomes something else entirely. A huge emperor moth. But it's not that easy. Before it can live as a moth it has to fight it's way out of the cocoon. Not all make it." "They would if I was there," said Ruth, taking another gulp. Gabriel was uncharacteristically silent. "What? What is it?" demanded Ruth. "They need to fight their way out of the cocoon. It builds their wings and muscles. It's the struggle that saves them. Without it they're crippled. If you help an emperor moth, you kill it.”

“All will be as it should, if we just do our best.”

“Houses are like people, Agent Lemieux. They have secrets. I'll tell you something I've learned.' Armand Gamache dropped his voice so that Agent Lemieux had to strain to hear. 'Do you know what makes us sick, Agent Lemieux?' Lemieux shook his head. Then out of the darkness and stillness he heard the answer. 'It's our secrets that make us sick.”

“She knew that kindness kills. All her life she'd suspected this and so she'd only ever been cold and cruel. She'd faced kindness with cutting remarks. She'd curled her lips at smiling faces. She'd twisted every thoughtful, considerate act into an assault. Everyone who was nice to her, who was compassionate and loving, she rebuffed. Because she'd loved them. Loved them with all her heart, and wouldn't see them hurt. Because she'd known all her life that the surest way to hurt someone, to maim and cripple them, was to be kind. If people were exposed, they die. Best to teach them to be armored, even if it meant she herself was forever alone. Sealed off from human touch.”

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Book Keywords:

secrets, rooms, homes, moth, kindness

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