Ideas came swarming through her, and like many people who labour in the obsession of solitude, she lacked the detachment to challenge them.
Page 57, describing Maxine.
Her handwriting in these pencilled jottings, made forty-five years ago, is exactly as it is today: this makes me suspect, when I am not with her, that she is a closet intellectual.Helen Garner
'That,' I said, 'would be a blessing. There are so many things I'd like to forget I hardly know what would be left standing, if I ever got started.'Helen Garner
'It's rather like a Poe story, isn't it,' said Patrick luxuriously, unfocusing his eyes. 'A person sees the chance of a better life passing by, and he makes as if to call out' - he flung one arm in the imploring gesture of a soul in torment - 'but something in his nature makes him hesitate. He pauses ... he closes his lips ... he steps back ... and then he slides down, and down, and down.'Helen Garner
'Crap,' said Janet. 'He was a whinger and he wrote it down. That's not poetry.'Helen Garner
The rain began again. It fell heavily, easily, with no meaning or intention but the fulfilment of its own nature, which was to fall and fall.Helen Garner
Out in deep space the planets sweep, inexorable, along their splendid orbits. Maxine bowed her head. From now on she would take the gods' dictation.Helen Garner
Our minds are not hopeful, thought Janet; but our nerves are made of optimistic stuff.Helen Garner