The authors’ original words do their work more justice than any book review I write, and when grouped together, the quotes become atmospheric of the state they are set in. I hope you enjoy this addition of a “Favorite Quotes” series to my Andrea Reads America coverage.

The Saint of Lost Things by Christopher Castellani book coverfrom The Saint of Lost Things by Christopher Castellani

“The traffic breaks and they cross into their home state of Delaware, different in not one single way from the state of Pennsylvania. The same little brick houses, squat and square, divided by chain link fences, go on for miles.”

“‘Reading is very important, Ida,’ he says. ‘The secret to a long life is to escape it as often as you can.'”

“To her, the bus rides are like little vacations, an hour of guilt-free rest. There is nothing to clean or cook here, no one’s hair to brush.”

“He stares into his whisky the way a woman stares into a lake, as if seeking an honest answer from the reflection.”

“‘We tried a new guy, younger, better-looking if I have to say, but he didn’t have the’ – here Antonio searched for the word he clearly already knew – ‘the passion.'”

“To the young people, Rosa says: fall in love and forget about tomorrow. To the old people, Rosa says: stay in love and forget about yesterday.”

Courting Ruth by Emma Miller. Fiction set in Delawarefrom Courting Ruth by Emma Miller

“The sun-warmed boards felt good on the soles of Ruth’s bare feet.”

“She found sweet comfort in the familiar odors of baking bread and the clatter of dishes and silverware.”

“Ruth wasn’t just pretty, she was saucy. A man didn’t come across too many saucy Amish girls where he came from. Mostly the were quiet and meek.”

“Her cheeks felt as warm as if she’d been standing over a kettle of simmering jam.”

“The sun was warm on his face, and the air smelled of green growing things. From the yard, he heard the bleat of a goat and the flapping sound of clothes drying on a line.”

“We are all human and capable of sin. It’s what happens after we sin that really matters.”

Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez book coverfrom The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez

“Celia told me about the provisions we would need for winter – heavy coats and a stack of comforters and something called long underwear that made me laugh when she tried to describe it.”

“English was such a dense, tight language. So many hard letters, like miniature walls. Not open with vowels the way Spanish was. Our throats open, our mouths open, our hearts open. In English the sounds were closed.”

“Profesora Shields explained that in English there was no usted. No tu. There was only one word – you. It applied to all people. No one higher or lower than anyone else.”

“Even with the fallen snow, the air had the sting of salt water, and we crunched broken sea-shells under our shoes.”

“The wonders of this country. In México, men sold ice out of carts they attached to bicycles. Here, it was falling from the sky.”

“We’re the unknown Americans, the ones no one even wants to know, because they’ve been told they’re supposed to be scared of us and because maybe if they did take the time to get to know us, they might realize that we’re not that bad, maybe even that we’re a lot like them. And who would they hate then?”

“I have the right to be in any store. I feel like telling them sometimes, You don’t know me, man. I’m a citizen here! But I shouldn’t have to tell anyone that. I want to be given the benefit of the doubt.”

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