The Proposal (The Survivors' Club #1)

All people, he thought with a sigh as he left the room, had their own demons to be fought—or not fought. Perhaps that was what life was all about. Perhaps life was a test to see how well we deal with our own particular demons, and how much sympathy we show others as they tread their own particular path through life.

You do not still hate her?” she asked as he moved her off to the side of the path for an open carriage that was coming toward them. “It is not easy to hate,” he said, “when one has lived long enough to know that everyone has a difficult path to walk through life and does not always make wise or admirable choices. There are very few out-and-out villains, perhaps none. Though there are a few who come very close.

Constance had joined him at the breakfast

Fear must be challenged, I have found. It is a powerful beat if it is allowed the mastery.

Have you noticed," she asked him, "how standing still can sometimes be no different from moving backward? For the whole world moves on and leaves one behind.

He asked me not to kill myself - asked, not told. His wife had done that, he told me, and it was in a sense the ultimate act of selfishness since it left behind untold and endless suffering for those who had witnessed it and been unable to do anything to prevent it. And so I remained alive.

He offered his arm and she took it. And the world was the same place.
And forever different.

He was insulting her sex but complimenting her personally. Was she supposed to simper with gratitude?

He wished he understood women better. It was a well-known fact that they did not mean half of what they said.
But which half did they mean?

Hugo could cheerfully have died of mortification - if such a mass of contradictions had been possible.

I came," he said.
Good Lord! If there were an orator-of-the-year award, he would be in dire danger of winning it.

I do not believe there is right or wrong," he said. "there is only doing what one must do under given circumstances and living with the consequences and weaving every experiences, good and bad, into the fabric of one's life so that ultimately one can see the pattern of it all and accept the lessons life has taught.

I think it is more tha6 the sea is a reminder of how little control we have over our own lives no matter how carefully we try to plan and order them. Everything changes in ways we least expect, and everything is frighteningly vast. We are so small.

It was what remained to a relationship after the first euphoria of the romance had faded.

Negativity could be frighteningly contagious.

One cannot try marriage. Once one is in, there is no way out.

People do understand the language of the heart, you know, even if the head does not always comprehend it.

People, especially some religious people. would have us believe that it is wrong . even a sin, to love oneself. It is not. It is the basic, essential love. If you do not love yourself, you cannot possibly love anyone else. Not fully and truly.

She had never believed in fate. She still did not. It would be nonsense of freedom of will and choice, and it was through such freedom that we worked our way through life and learned what we needed to learn. But sometimes, it seemed to her, there was something, some sign, to nudge one along in a certain direction. What one chose to do with that nudge was up to that person.

Some things," she said, "are best not known for sure, Lord Trentham.

Stanbrook once told me," he said, "that suicide is the worst kind of selfishness, as it is often a plea to specific people who are left stranded in the land of the living, unable for all eternity to answer the plea

That is the excitement of life," he said when he was finished. "The not knowing. It is often best not to know.

There is no such place as the promised land, but it would be foolish to reject even an unpromised land as worthless without first inspecting it thoroughly.

When one had once suffered a great hurt, there was always a weakness afterward, a vulnerability where there had been wholeness and strength before - and innocence.

When we last out at ourselves for having lost control, we are reminded that we never can be in total control, that all life asks of us is to do our best to cope with what is handed to us.

Why say something," he asked her, "if your words mean nothing?

Why was it that silence sometimes felt like a physical thing with a weight of its own?

You are not by any manner of means the sort of woman I am in search of as a wife, and I am in a totally different universe from the husband you hope to find. But I feel a powerful urge to kiss you, for all that.

Your sense of guilt will linger. It will always be part of you. but sharing it, allowing people to love you anyway, will do you the world of good. Secrets need an outlet if they are not to fester and become an unbearable burden.

Youthful dreams are precious things. They ought not to be dashed as foolish and unrealistic just because they are young dreams. Innocence ought not to be destroyed from any callous conviction that a realistic sort of cynicism is better.

You will find that wanting, even loving, is not enough.