These next quotations are from Shirley Ann Grau's The Keepers of the House. And it was a delicious book - maybe because I read it after The Chocolate War (which I despised). Once I started into this book, I couldn't put it down until I finished it. This is one of those stories that made me think of Grandpa - I wish I would've found this book 14 years ago, so I could've read it to him. Here are some quotations that I jotted in my notebook.
"Everyone tells stories around here. Every place, every person has a ring of stories around them, like a halo almost. People have told me tales ever since I was a tiny girl. . . they have talked to me, and talked to me. Some I've forgotten, but most I remember. And so my memory goes back before my birth."
"They'd made likker for years, like their father before them. Ridge runners, people called them, because they stayed off the roads and brought their produce directly across the ridges."
"How much longer has he got, Margaret found herself thinking, before he gets to see that long lonesome home of his? Before there won't be nobody sitting under that tree? Before all there will be of him is a heap of mud in the graveyard, and not even too much of that?
We'll remember him, she thought. For a time, a little time, before it starts slipping away from us, and we won't remember hardly at all. Then we'll be dead too, and that'll be the end of him, for good.
And isn't it funny, she thought, that it takes two generations to kill off a man?...First him, and then his memory...."
"When she [Margaret] died, she was an old woman. . . John was surprised that I didn't cry at the news. . . It wasn't something you cried over. You didn't even grieve in the ordinary sense of the term. You just curled up where you were, curled up in pain and fear, and you stayed shriveled and shivering."
"Who could tell her that my grandfather's dying had killed Margaret? That after his death, she found an earth of brass, and she hadn't been able to stand it?"