Saturday, February 14, 2009

The School of Essential Ingredients

The School of Essential Ingredients
by Erica Bauermeister

Passage 1:

In the chair beside her, almost hidden in the corner of the room, sat a man whose sadness seemed to have been pressed into his shirt.

p. 39

Passage 2:

What did she do that made her happy? The question implied action, a conscious purpose. She did many things in a day, and many things made her happy, but that, Claire could tell, wasn't the issue. Nor the only one, Claire realized. Because in order to consciously do something that made you happy, you'd have to know who you were. Trying to figure that out these days was like fishing on a lake on a moonless night--you had no idea what you would get.

p. 52

Passage 3:

He walked up behind her and softly touched his lips to the back of her neck. Helen turned to face him, meeting his eyes for a long moment, as if measuring the weight of something within them. Then she smiled.
"You're home," she said, and reached up to kiss him.

p. 79

Passage 4:

It made a certain sense for a holiday celebrating survival over starvation, and everyone seemed to revel in the excess of it all, but she couldn't help feeling embarrassed for the food, all smashed together like immigrants in steerage class.

p. 90

Passage 5:

Isabelle listened, watching the muscles move in her son's biceps and back as he ripped shingles from the roof and threw them down to her, wondering where the soft, round arms of her baby boy had gone, marveling at the beauty of her son standing above her.

p. 183

Passage 6:

"I used to know a sculptor," Isabelle said, nodding. "He always said that if you looked hard enough, you could see where each person carried his soul in his body. It sounds crazy, but when you saw his sculptures, it made sense. I think the same is true with those we love," she explained. "Our bodies carry our memories of them, in our muscles, in our skin, in our bones. My children are right here." She pointed to the inside curve of her elbow. "Where I held them when they were babies. Even if there comes a time when I don't know who they are anymore, I believe I will feel them here.

p. 187

Passage 6:

" do you feel about her?"
"She's beautiful and smart and..."
"I mean, " Lillian's voice was patient, "what do you want?"
"I want...." Ian paused, and then his voice cleared. "I would want her for the rest of my life."
"Then that is how you cook."

p. 212


  1. Hey Staci, Thanks for the peek into this book. I especially gravitated to passage 6....
    "He always said that if you looked hard enough, you could see where each person carried his soul in his body."

    Most interesting thought. With that in mind, I'm going to look harder.....

    You can tell a lot from many outside small clues, e.g. what people put on their car bumpers, or what they read or find funny, but to look for actual clues in their body....

    As I say, I'm going to look harder.

    Happy Reading!

  2. PS. I'm going to look for a copy of that book now. See what quotes can do?? (As I know you already

  3. PSS. Now I read the other quotes you listed: Other favs: Passage 1 and 2.... oh what the hay...they're all good. LOL

  4. Well M'dear, Because of the wonderful quotes you shared with us.... such splendid teasers.... I had to go search for a copy this afternoon. Alas, the library didn't even have a sniff of a copy, so I had to purchase. Cause I felt drawn to the book.

    I really like your way of sharing more than one quote from a book you're reading.

    The ones you chose gave a glimpse of the heart of the book without giving away a single thread in the plot!

    I've read the first couple of pages and I'm already anticpating a lovely read, thanks to you!

    Do it again, k?

  5. Several days later, and I had to tell you, I finished the book and loved every page! I have to add this one to my list of favourites.