The English Patient is probably my favorite book. It is hard to pick one, but it is Ondaatje’s gorgeous words that swarm in my head more than those of anyone else. The movie was lovely, but a far cry from the stunningly lyrical words on the page.
My very favorite line from the book is one I often think of using as a title someday:
A few other exceptionally rich passages, whose words both comfort and awaken me:
We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves.
She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.
She had grown older. And he loved her more now than he had loved her when he understood her better.
…this woman whose openness was like a wound.
“Her hand touched me at the wrist. “If I gave you my life, you would drop it. Wouldn’t you?” I didn’t say anything.