Make one thing every day, wander like a gypsy, and shine happiness like the sun

The Bonesetter’s Daughter-Quotes from Part Two (continued) and Part Three

Although I finished this a few days ago and am on to new books and projects, I wanted to complete this task…


Don’t fight differences of meaning. Find where you mean the same.

You should think about your character.  Know where you are changing, how you will be changed, what cannot be changed back again.

He kissed my eyes one at a time.  “This is beauty, and this is beauty, and you are beauty, and love is beauty and we are beauty.  We are divine, unchanged by time.”

Part Three-One

“Why you give up?  Something hard maybe worth more than easy.”

So many combinations, like Chinese names and characters, the same elements, seemingly simple, reconfigured in different ways.

Expiration was simply a release.

Dementia was like a truth serum.

Ruth wondered what made people happy.  Could you find happiness in a place?  In another person?  What about happiness for herself?  Did you simply have to know what you wanted and reach for it through a fog?

Some notions of time are irrelevant.

“You’re like someone who has cataracts and wants to see, but you refuse to have an operation because you’re afraid you’ll go blind.  You’d rather go blind slowly than take a chance.  And then you can’t see that the answer is right in front of you.”



She was drawn to them all, (books) these prisms of other lives and times.  And she felt sympathetic, as if they were dogs at the animal shelter, abandoned without reason, hopeful that they would be loved still.  

“I don’t think I know an important part of you.  You keep secrets inside you.  You hide.  It’s as though I’ve never seen you naked, and I’ve had to imagine what you look like behind drapes.”

“Sometimes I feel like I’m a pair of eyes and ears, and I’m just trying to stay safe and make sense of what’s happening.  I know what to avoid, what to worry about.  I’m like those kids who live with gunfire going off around them.  I don’t want pain.  I don’t want to die.  But I don’t have anything left inside me to figure out where I fit in or what I want.  If I want anything, it’s to know what’s possible to want.”


Mystery is a wonderful part of life.

“He’s been in love with her since she was a little girl,” Art said.  “She’s not just a source of temporary companionship.  He loves everything about her, and that includes who she was, who she is, who she will be.  He knows more about her than most couples who are married.”


I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I hope you read it all and enjoy it too.  Angels come in many forms if we know how to see them 🙂

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The Bonesetter’s Daughter-Quotes from Part Two

Continues to impress.  It occurred to me that one of my other favorite authors also has the initials AT-Anne Tyler.  As it also could stand for “A Thinker”, I think there must be some connection.  Digression, however, so to task:


A person should consider how things begin.  A particular beginning results in a particular end.



I was like a turtle lying on its back, struggling to know why the world was upside down.

“If she didn’t love you, why did she bother to criticize you for your own good?”  And then Precious Auntie went on to say how selfish I was, always thinking about myself.  She said my face looked ugly when I pouted.  She criticized me so much I did not consider until now that she was saying she loved me even more.

You can never be an artist if your work comes without effort… You push and ask yourself, What are my intentions?  What is in my heart that matches my mind?

My head was a sandstorm, ideas and hopes whirling about freely.  I was wondering all the while what those people at the pavilion would remember the next day and the day after that.  Because I knew I would never forget a moment of that day, the day I was to begin my new life.

I saw how all the women we passed, young and old, had the same bland face, sleepy eyes that were mirrors of their sleepy minds.



I was amazed at how Mother’s mind flowed, as if she were accustomed to running two paces ahead of a flood.

Want less, regret less, that was Mother’s motto.



“You can have pride in what you do each day,” said Sister Yu, “but not arrogance in what you were born with.”  She also often reminded  us that self pity was not allowed.  That was an indulgence.


We can study, we can learn

We can marry whom we choose.

We can work, we can earn,

And bad fate is all we lose.


I recalled for them what Precious Auntie had taught me about writing characters, how a person must think about her intentions, how her ch’i flowed from her body into her arm, through the brush, and into the stroke.  Every stroke had meaning, and since every word had many strokes, it also had many meanings.

“How could beauty be more than divine?”… “The fourth level,” Kai Jing said ” is greater than this, and it is within each mortal’s nature to find it.  We can sense it only if we do not try to sense it.  It occurs without motivation or desire or knowledge of what may result… Kai Jing was quiet for a long time.  “This fourth level is called Effortless,” he said at last… For we both knew we were speaking about the effortlessness with which one falls in love without intending to, as if we were two stalks of bamboo bent towards each other by chance of the wind.

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The Bonesetter’s Daughter- Continued quotes from Part One

I continue to devour this book.  Amy Tan is a wonderful magic carpet writer than is a no-side-effect cure for everything from whining minions to grey ennui.

Part One

Chapter Four

A lot of her admonitions had to do with not showing what you really meant about all sorts of things:   hope, disappointment, and especially love.  The less you showed the more you meant.

Chapter Six

All it took was the right chemistry, which included love, and sometimes the wrong chemistry, which included booze and falling asleep.

As she now kept walking, she felt comforted by the water, its constancy, its predictability.  Each time it withdrew, it carried with it whatever had marked the shore.

Chapter Seven

She had just finished reading The Diary of Anne Frank in sophomore English class, and like all the other girls, she was imbued with a sense that she too was different, an innocent on a path to tragedy that would make her posthumously admired.  The diary would be proof of her existence, that she mattered, and more important, that someone somewhere would one day understand her, even if it was not in her lifetime.  There was a tremendous comfort in believing that her miseries weren’t for naught.

That was how dishonesty and betrayal started, not in big lies but in small secrets.



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