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From Library Staff
The protagonist embarks on a family vacation through Europe in a desperate bid to save his marriage and improve his distant relationship with his teenaged son,
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“The fact was I loved my wife to a degree that I found impossible to express, and so rarely did.”
“It’s the face itself that I love, not that face at twenty-eight or thirty-four or forty-three. It’s that face.”
“I'm aware that couples tend to embellish 'how we met' folklore with all kinds of detail and significance. We shape and sentimentalise these first encounters into creation myths to reassure ourselves and our offspring that it was somehow 'meant to be'.”
“I love you is an interesting phrase, in that apparently small alterations–taking away the I, adding a word like lots or loads–render it meaningless.”
“The problem with telling people that they can do anything they want to do is that it is objectively, factually inaccurate. Otherwise the whole world would just be ballet dancers and pop stars.”
“Perhaps grief is as much regret for what we have never had as sorrow for what we have lost.”
“Of course, after nearly a quarter of a century, the questions about our distant pasts have all been posed and we’re left with ‘how was your day?’ and ‘when will you be home?’ and ‘have you put the bins out?’ Our biographies involve each other so intrinsically now that we’re both on nearly every page. We know the answers because we were there, and so curiosity becomes hard to maintain; replaced, I suppose, by nostalgia.”
“Was it the happiest day of our lives? Probably not, if only because the truly happy days tend not to involve so much organisation, are rarely so public or so expensive. The happy ones sneak up, unexpected.”
“I had always been led to believe that aging was a slow and gradual process, the creep of a glacier. Now I realize that it happens in a rush, like snow falling off a roof.”
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