Marilynne Robinson on cigarettes and on meadows

Some more quotes from Lila (2014).

Lila had money in her pocket. She went back to the store and bought a pack of Camels. On the way home she stopped and lighted one, cupping her hand around the flame, that old gesture. But it has been a long time, and whatever it is about cigarettes went straight to her head.

(She’s living in a shack in a meadow:) She hoped the old man did not know where she was staying, and she knew he would never come there if he did. But if he ever did come, she hoped it would be in the morning. Those little white moths fluttering over it made that raggedy old meadow seem almost like a garden.


I like the word meadow. What’s the difference between a meadow and a field, though? I have no photos labelled Meadow. Does this Field (at Godinne on the river Meuse, June 2011) qualify?

swing in field Godinne 611.JPG

I am blocked in the book, unwilling to go forward. Lila’s pregnant, she’s in the middle of a long day’s reflecting at the old man’s house, and I think something bad is going to happen. I’ve started reading detective stories instead.



Published by

Paul Hodson

Head of Unit "EnergyEfficiency" at European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy

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