Agnes) 'Perhaps things would have been different if Natan had let me go to church at Tjorn. I might have made friends there. I might have met a family to turn to when it all became twisted. Other farmers I could have worked for. But he didn't let me go, and there was no other friend, no light to head towards in that wintered landscape.'
Daniel warns: 'Don't be fooled. Just because you play at being wife, does not make you a married woman.' 257
The treachery of a friend is worse than that of a foe,"... 'It's from Gisli Sursson's Saga.' ... 'He broke his word to her,' ... 'Natan promised Agnes my position, sir. Only, before she arrived, he decided that Sigga should have it.'
💙 'I left Illugastadir because I couldn't bear Natan any more. He... he toyed with people.' She leant closer still, her lip trembling. 'It was as though he did it to amuse himself. I never knew where I stood with him. He'd tell me one thing and do another. And if I had a mind to ask for leave to church-go, well.' p.175
💙 '...like a woman, he said. The sea is a nag. '' p.36
💙 'Natan did not believe in sin. He said that it is the flaw in the character that makes a person. Even nature defies her own rules for the sake of beauty, he said. For the sake of creation. To keep her own blood hot. You understand, Agnes.' p.100
💙 'He was famous for all sorts of things, depending on who you spoke to. p.191
💙 'He had a lot of enemies. But whether those folks were wronged or just jealous is hard to say.' 191
(Agnes) 'The famous Natan Ketilsson, a man who could bleed the sap of sickness from the limbs of the ill, who had been with the famous Poet-Rosa, who had heard the bells of Copenhagen, and taught himself Latin - an extraordinary man, a saga man - had chosen me.' 221
'Natan Satan, that was his name. Nothing he did ever came from God.' p.90 gudrún
💙 'He dealt with the Devil' p.93
💙 'It was then that I saw Natan for the first time. I thought he'd be a big man, a handsome, upright fellow with long hair, like those men servant girls usually go giddy over. But Natan was not handsome. The man I saw talking with Worm was not tall and he was quite thin in the face - he never looked strong. His hair was reddish-brown, and his nose was too big for his face. I thought he looked like a fox with his chestnut hair and beady little eyes,' 192
💙 'He always knew what to say to people; what would make them feel good. And what would cut the deepest.' 193
💙 'Natan was a clever man, a doctor, and he knew arithmetic, and he was generous with his money. He healed more than one cough among the Geitaskard workmen that autumn, and were they grateful?' p.217
💙 'Natan was different. He did not think he had to prove himself to anyone. But superstitious signs troubled him. And, what I admired in him, his way of seeing the world, and yearning for knowledge, and his easy way with those he liked, had a darker underbelly. It was a matter of enjoying the bright skies all the more, so as to endure the sloughs when they came.' p.236
💙 He built his church on wives' tales and the secret language of weather.
💙 becomes more of a stranger
💙 (Blondal) 'A boy raised in a household careless with morality and Christian teaching... slothfulness, greed, and rude, callow inclinations bred in him a weak spirit, and a longing for worldy gain.' 172
💙 '...his was an intransigent character. His appearance excited in me strong suspicions of that order - he is freckle-faced ... red-headed, a sign of a treacherous nature.' 172
💙 'Fridrik has come to repent of his crime and see the error of his ways. He talks openly and honestly of his misdeeds and acknowledges that his impending execution is right given the horrific nature of the crime committed by his hands. He recognises it as "God's justice".' 172
💙 'He was always as pink as a skinned lamb when she spoke of him. But Fridrik unsettled me. There was something off-balance in Fridrik. And Natan, too. They both got into moods and the feel of a room would fall from high spirits to a glowering in an instant. It was contagious, too. With them you'd feel every small injustice done against you like a thorn in your side. Fridrik, I thought, was a daring sort of boy, desperate to prove himself a man. He was easily offended. I suppose he thought the world against him, and raged at it. I did not like that in him, the way he looked for a reason to anger. He liked to fight. Liked to keep his knuckles bruised.' 236
💙 'I thought Fridrik a braggart and a show-off. He talked aimlessly, speaking of how he was going to make his father a rich man, and he'd fought three men in Vesturhop and given them all black eyes and worse. All the dull lies you'd expect to hear from a boy of that age.
But I supposed that he was a mentor to Fridrik, as he told me he was trying to be to Sigga.' p.237
💙 'Fridrik and Natan had a fraught friendship at the best of times. They were always suspicious of each other. And then they had a fight. It was when the whale was beached at Hindisvik, that autumn.' 274
along with sigga : 'PUPPIES' P.285
💙 'Over a month has passed at Kornsa and already I have forgotten what will become of me. The days of work have soothed me, have given my body cause for rest, so that I've slept deeply, below the surface of dreams stricken with portent.' p.120
💙 'Sigga! Illugastadir! They anchor me to a memory that snatches the breath out of me. They are the magic words, the curse that turns me into a monster, and now I am Agnes of Illugastadir, Agnes of the fire, Agnes of the dead bodies with the blood, not burnt, still clinging to the clothes I made for him. They will free Sigga but they will not free me because I am Agnes - bloody, knowing Agnes. And I am so scared, I thought it could work, I thought I could pretend, but I see it will not, I will never, I cannot escape this, I cannot escape.'
💙 'I thought I could pretend' (p 128)
💙 'This is my life as it used to be: up in my elbows in the guts of things, working towards a kind of survival' 204
💙 Since the hay harvest, I have slipped into something pf my old life here, and I have forgotten to be angry. The dream reminded me of what will happen, of how fast these days are passing me by.
💙 i am quite alone.
💙 'I cannot remember not knowing Natan. I cannot think of what it was not to love him. To look at him and realise I had found what I had not known I was hungering for. A hunger so deep, so capable of driving me into the night, that it terrified me.' (p 194)
💙 I did not lie to the Reverend. That night of stars and stories, and the warm pressure of his hand on mine, happened as I told him. But I did not tell Toti what followed when the servants went to bed. 194
💙 'Do you know what it means, to have a hollow palm? It means there is something secretive about us. This empty space can be filled with bad luck if we're not careful. If we expose the hollow to the world and all its darkness, all its misfortune.' 'But how can one help the shape of one's hand?' I was laughing. 'By covering it with another's, Agnes.'
💙 'No one could understand what it was like to know Natan. In those early visits it was as though we were building something sacred. We'd place words carefully together, piling them upon one another, leaving no spaces. We each created towers, two beacons, the like of which are built along roads to guide the way when the weather comes down. We saw one another through the fog, the suffocating repetition of life.' p.218
💙 'Natan broke the very yolk of my soul.' 221
💙 I opened my arms to him, laughing, feeling like I might die from love...
💙 'He would haul me out of the valley, out of the husk of my miserable, loveless life, and everything would be new. He would give me springtime.' 222
💙 'I craved his weight, then. I craved the breath of him: the quickening inhalation and the warm pressure of his mouth.' p.220
💙 'Natan's accusations seemed comical to me. Couldn't he see how much I missed him? How different he was from any other man I had known?' 255
💙 'He is falling out of love with you, I told myself. And I began to wonder whether he ever loved me.' 255
💙 'But there were still hours when he found me alone by the shore, collecting eiderdown. He would take me beside the birds' nests, his hands in my hair, his look as desperate as a drowning man's. He needed me like he needed air. I felt it in his gaze, in the way he grappled for my body like a buoy in the water.' 255
💙 In those early visits it was as though we were building something sacred.
💙 I am worst to the one I loved best.
💙 "Natan is dead. I wake up every morning with a blow of grief to my heart.'' p.59
💙 "The only person who would understand how I feel is Natan. He knew me as one knows the seasons, knows the tide. Knew me like the smell of smoke, knew what I was, and what I wanted. And now he is dead." p.83
💙 "Oh, my foster-mother is dead and my own mother is gone. And I sit on the floor, my legs buckled with the pure, ripe grief of an orphan, and the wind cries for me because my tongue cannot. It screams and screams and I sit on the packed earth floor, hard with cold, and smell the fish-heads, sickening, lacing the bland scent of winter with its stench of salt and dried bone." p.157
💙 'Every time I said something they would change my words and throw it back to me like an insult, or an accusation.' p.98
💙 'You might have seen their names in that book of yours, Reverend, but I may as well have been listed as an orphan.' p.99
💙 I thought they might believe me. When they beat the drum in that tiny room and Blondal announced 'Guilty', the only thing I could think of was, if you move, you will crumble. If you breathe, you will collapse. They want to disappear you. p.100
💙 'That's what happened to my mother, Reverend,' Agnes continued. 'Who was she really? Probably not as people say she was, but she made mistakes and others made up their minds about her. People around here don't let you forget your misdeeds. They think them the only things worth writing down.' 108
💙 'If you spoke to certain people about these parts you might get a different story.'...'I suppose it doesn't matter if I'm honest with you or not,' she said coldly. 'I could say anything to you.' p.109
💙 'No such thing as truth,' p.110
'Shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Yes, I know. I know,' ... 'Not in my case, Reverend Thorvardur,' ... 'I've told the truth and you can see for yourself how it has served me.' p.110
💙 'But they see I've got a head on my shoulders, and believe a thinking woman cannot be trusted. Believe there's no room for innocence. And like it or not, Reverend, that is the truth of it.' p.132
💙 'Everything I said was taken from me and altered until the story wasn't my own' (p. 100)
💙''Dreadful birds, dressed in red with breasts of silver buttons,"
💙 I've told the truth and you can see for yourself how it has served me.
💙 'Then Blondal and the rest are going against God. They're hypocrites. They say they're carrying out God's law, but they're only doing the will of men!'...'I try to love God, Reverend. I do. But I cannot love these men. I... I hate them.' p.132
💙 'What else is God good for other than a distraction from the mire we're all stranded in? ... When was the last time I even attended church?'
💙 Return to God's word. Forget Agnes's. She has nothing that you need to hear, unless it is a confession.' p.173
💙 'It's a lie. Man has created God out of fear of dying.' p.219
💙 Blondal wants Agnes to be ingratiate herself with 'upright Christians' p.17
💙 79 "We want you to return to god"
💙 219 'It's a lie. Man has created God out of a fear of dying.'
💙 87 'You're a servant of the Lord. Don't disgrace yourself, boy.'
💙 127 'If you continue this way you'll be as wicked as her... I'll pray for you.'
💙 134 'I am quite alone,' 'God is with you. I am here. Your parents are alive.'
💙 165 'It's become apparent to me that the condemned requires means other than religious rebuke to acquaint herself with death and prepare for her meeting with the Lord.'
💙 178 'She must meet her God, and in an ugly way.'
💙 184 'But we have God, Agnes, and more than that, we have His love, and He takes our fear away...I can't feel sure about anything like that.'
💙 236 'She's probably as pious as they come now.'
💙 248 "What else is God good for other than a distraction from the mire we're all stranded in?'
💙 248 'Escaping to church to feel part of something. Pure.'
💙 314 'And what of the Son of God. Did he die only for the righteous?' 'It's suicide. It is against God.'
💙 The stone Mamma gave me before she left. It will bring you good luck, Agnes. It is a magic stone. Put it under your tongue and you will be able to talk to the birds. That stone sat in my mouth for days. If the birds understood my questions, they never cared to answer them.
💙 'But talking to him only reminds me of how everything in my life has worked against me, and how unloved I have been... I may as well be talking to him with a stone in my mouth, trying to find a language that we both understand.' p.120
💙 The elder girl hesitates. what is her nickname? Steina. Stone.
💙 "I expected him to understand me from the start. I want him to understand me, but I'm a fool to think we speak the same tongue. I may as well be talking to him with a stone in my mouth, trying to find a language that we both understand."
💙 126 "Steina noticed that Agnes gripped the rock so hard her knuckles were white...Agnes didn't respond. She watched the drops hit the fast-flowing river, breaking the surface so that the mountains' reflection became wildly distorted. She still held the rock in her hand."
💙 135 "'She gave me a stone...To put under my tongue...It's a superstitious...Blöndal's clerks took it."
💙 324 "I am crying and my mouth is open and filled with something, it is choking me and I spit it out. On the ground is a stone, and I look back at Margret, and see that she did not notice. 'The stone was in my mouth,' I say, and her face creases because she does not understand.'"