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?