Results from the literary challenge

library books

Oh, the endless possibilities for entertainment. Image courtesy of click, Morguefile.

A while back, I posted four quotes from well-known authors I enjoyed and challenged my readers to guess them. I made the quotes a little too challenging, methinks: only one person accurately guessed one of the quotes.

Ah, well. It may have been my timing, since this is the time of year that people are on vacation or preparing their kids to head back to school. Anyway, here are the answers to the literary challenge, along with an explanation of the context:

Quote #1: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The speaker is Herbert Pocket, after Pip has moved to London to become a proper gentleman. Their conversation is the first time that Herbert and Pip meet as adults and become friends and roommates.

Why the quote is significant: It’s a masterful and quick summation of Herbert’s character in one sentence. Herbert is ambitious: he intends to succeed in life and stays aware of potential opportunities.

Quote #2: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. The speaker is Richard from Texas in the India section of the book. Liz talks about how she’s having trouble dealing with the loss of a boyfriend she feels was her soul mate. Richard points out that David was a signpost in her life, not a soul mate, and tells her to get over it and move on.

Why the quote is significant: It defines Richard’s no-nonsense, gritty approach to life. He’s a wise man and has gone through some painful experiences to get where he is.

Quote #3: Straight by Dick Francis. Derek Franklin, the speaker and a jockey, is injured in a race and learns that his brother has died in an accident. Derek has to cope with a number of mysterious happenings, including a mugging and a break-in at his brother’s business.

Why the quote is significant: These two lines are a brilliant foreshadow and overview of what’s going to happen in the book, without giving away all of the plot.

Quote #4: Sanctuary by Nora Roberts. Jo Ellen Hathaway is a famous photographer, being stalked by someone she suspects knows about her mother’s unsolved disappearance. She has a nervous breakdown and heads home to her family’s island in order to heal. Her family has become dysfunctional and Jo is embarrassed to admit that she needed treatment.

The speakers are her sister Lexy and cousin Kate, after Jo admits her breakdown and they travel to the mainland to contact the police.

Why the quote is significant: This scene is particularly meaningful in the novel since Lexy proves that she’s more than just a pretty face and frustrated, sarcastic wannabe actress. The unexpected loyalty from Lexy is a turning point in the relationship between the two sisters: they start to become better friends after that scene.

Readers, got any quotes from books that you have found particularly meaningful?



Filed under Writing

11 responses to “Results from the literary challenge

  1. I actually didn’t recognize any of the quotes, which is why I didn’t participate. I read Great Expectations 50 years ago (maybe more) and never read the other 3 books at all. Sorry! I would have joined in if I had anything to offer.

    • And now you have more interesting books to add to your list (hint, hint….)!

      • I’ve read a few books by Francis. Nothing I’ve read by him — two or three books? — has overwhelmed me. Maybe I haven’t read the right books. I’ll try “Straight.” I love horses, which is why I started reading him, but they didn’t grab me.

        I haven’t read any Nora Roberts in a few years. I used to follow her and just drifted away. I should revisit.

        As for Eat, Pray, Love never sounded like something that would interest me. But maybe I’ll give it a try. On my list, boss 🙂

        What I have been reading: A couple of day ago, I finished “Double Strike” Gretchen Archer’s new one coming out in October 21st — it is wonderful. She keeps getting better. It’s great watching an author develop. Today I finished “The Pluto Files”, the heated debate over Pluto’s status as an extraterrestrial underdog. Hilarious if you like non-fiction and arguments between geeky scientists.

      • I’m intrigued. I may have to check out that one.

      • It’s fun … if you’ve got a geek streak 🙂

  2. I read Dick Francis books a few decades ago. Did not recognize the quote, however.

  3. Darn – forgot. Thought the first one was Dickens, but didn’t guess the character.
    Great fun

  4. Oh dear….I’m without a quote!

  5. LOL–it’s not very often someone leaves me stumped but you’ve gone and done it. I just spent the past five minutes thinking and came up empty. That means I’ve not been paying attention enough lately. Time to maybe take a look back and re-read some “old friends.”
    For what it’s worth, and because it’s right there on the shelf in front of me, here’s one that’s been with me. It’s from ‘Pink and say” by Patricia Polacco: “Then he reached for me and said, “Let me touch the hand that touched Mr. Lincoln, Say, one last time.”
    Those few words have meant a lot to me over the years, thinking back on the many hours I spent reading to my 4 children and how I never could manage to say that line aloud; always had to get one of them to say it for me.


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