Monday, September 6, 2010

Another Representative Paragraph

I've recently started reading Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, by Helen Simonson. I chose it based solely on its cover, of course. so far, it's been a fine book, worthy of one of my periodic representative paragraph posts.

The following is a part of a paragraph near the start of the story, as Major Pettigrew, a 60-ish widower is riding in the car of Mrs. Ali, a widow from the village with whom he seems to be falling in love. It's a rainy, gray day.
She laughed, and the Major turned his head to look out of the window at the fog-soaked hedges of the lanes. He was aware that he no longer felt chilled. The hedges, far from being grim and soggy were edged to the last leaf in drops like diamonds. The earth steamed and a horse under a tree shook its mane like a dog and bent to nibble freshly moistened dandelions. The car broke from the hedged land and crested the last rise of the hill, where the road widened. The town spread down the folded valley, opening out along the coastal plain. The sea lay gray and infinite beyond the sharp edge of the beach. In the sky, a rent in the fog let down pale shafts of sunlight to gleam on the water. It was as beautiful and absurd as an illustrated Victorian hymnal, lacking only a descending angel trailing putti and rose garlands. The little car picked up speed as it headed down and the Major felt that the afternoon was somehow already a success.

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