"He had mentioned it in passing, but only as a distraction and alibi. It seemed that as he ambled through his late teens his possibilities had slowly begun to narrow. Certain cool-sounding jobs - heart surgeon, architect - were permanently closed to him now and journalism seemed about to go the same way." Derek
"But at the best of times she feels like a character in a Muriel Spark novel - independent, bookish, sharp-minded, secretly romantic." Emma
The part of this book I liked best was that tiny bits of it were set in Edinburgh and I could totally picture Rankeillor Street (I lived just down the road from there) and Arthur's Seat is somewhere I went hiking up both drunk and hungover (and even sober) and I shopped at the grocery store on Nicolson Street that is mentioned for two straight years. I also liked the British slang - good job you, wahey, etc. But, it's not really enough that a book reminds you that your ex used to say wahey a lot or that it amuses you that Em and Dex sounds a lot like Ant and Dec (annoying TV presenters much like Dexter was in the novel). I didn't like Dexter at all as a character, so it was hard to care much about what happened to him. I did like Emma and occasionally identified with her life quite a bit. All in all, it was okay but would have been a much better read on a beach when I wasn't looking for much in the way of depth.
"These days grief seems like walking on a frozen river; most of the time he feels safe enough, but there is always that danger that he will plunge through." DerekEmma
"'Live every day as if ti's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at... something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance."