The authors’ original words do their work more justice than any book review I write, and when grouped together, the quotes become atmospheric of the state they are set in. I hope you enjoy this addition of a “Favorite Quotes” series to my Andrea Reads America coverage.

Advise and Consent by Allen Drury book coverFrom Advise and Consent by Allen Drury

“Over all the District, Maryland, and Virginia the winds are warm, the trees are abruptly green, the golden fountains of forsythia rise in every street; and the voice of the tourist is heard in the land.”

“He won the nomination… and went to the United States Senate at thirty with a secret, almost superstitious determination to be a good man, a good Senator, and a good public servant.”

“She was one of those good people who are also in spite of all their earnest efforts basically dull.”

“A long life in politics, while it still left some small room for surprise, had virtually extinguished the capacity for shock.”

“Although they walked around as though they were alive they were dead inside.”

“‘This is a cruel town,’ he said, ‘When you get on the wrong side of it. A great town and a good town, and a petty town and a cruel town. And nobody ever knows from day to day which face it is going to put on.'”

“To me it’s patriotic to do what I deem best in my own judgment for the country; it isn’t to give in to you and let you ride roughshod over everything decent just because you claim it’s patriotic and imply that those who oppose you are unpatriotic.”

You are One of ThemFrom You Are One of Them by Elliot Holt

“The D.C. Metro has an earthy, mineral smell that reminds you you’re plunging straight into bedrock.”

“In the wake of Watergate, every institution — including marriage — seemed to be falling apart.”

“The house was a stately Queen Anne in white clapboard with black shutters and a wraparound porch that was typical of Cleveland Park. I always thought of our neighborhood as a community of giant dollhouses.”

“Mrs. Jones was always there to ask about our day. She smiled a lot. At first it made me nervous — there was something unsettling about all that grinning — but my mother said that people smiled more in Ohio.”

“People loved her because she was easy to love, I thought, and I prayed for a time when my complexity wouldn’t scare people away.”

River Cross my HeartFrom River, Cross My Heart by Breena Clarke

“Legends abound that the Potomac River is a widowmaker, a childtaker, and a woman-swallower.”

“They sat among the tall weedy grasses of the littered bank. Much of what gets discarded in Georgetown ends up here, twisted and tangled among black-eyed Susans and Queen Anne’s lace. Splintered planks with nails sticking out hide in the shin-high grass.”

“That morning was hot as soon as the sun got up. Johnnie Mae rose just after. Heat entered the house uninvited — in fact, had never left from the night before.”

“Ella’s was a slow face. Her eyes never darted.”

“The listeners moaned and shivered. ‘Amen.’ Cardboard fans slapped and swished, pushing hot air through the nave.”

“When she had dived and dived… large amounts of the river water had got in her lungs and stomach. The water had gushed through her sinuses, leaving a recollection at the back of her throat.”

“Households draw in toward their centers for warmth in cold weather, and emotions and conflicts that are dispersed in balmier air keep circulating and threatening to strangle folks when they’re inside so long huddled against the cold.”

“Bethel Jenkins, his mama, had raised no fool. Jenkins had sense enough not to wear his best suit or his best shoes down to the police station to see Michael Cronin. Clean and slightly threadbare — that was the best way to dress for talking to the white folks.”

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