Important Quotations Explained
Mountain . . . soared in his mind as a place where all his scattered
forces might gather. Inman did not consider himself to be a superstitious
person, but he did believe that there is a world invisible to us.
He no longer thought of that world as heaven, nor did he still think
that we get to go there when we die. Those teachings had been burned
away. But he could not abide by a universe composed only of what
he could see, especially when it was so frequently foul.
have against all odds arrived at home, Monroe had said. At the time,
it was a sentiment Ada took with a great deal of skepticism. All
of their Charleston friends had expressed the opinion that the mountain
region was a heathenish part of creation . . . Ada’s informants
had claimed the mountaineers to be but one step more advanced in
their manner of living than tribes of vagrant savages.
had grown so used to seeing death . . . that it seemed no longer
dark and mysterious. He feared his heart had been touched by the
fire so often he might never make a civilian again.
believed she would erect towers on the ridge marking the south and
north points of the sun’s annual swing. . . . Keeping track of such
a thing would place a person, would be a way of saying, You are
here, in this one station, now. It would be an answer to the question,
Where am I?
what the wisdom of the ages says is that we do well not to grieve
on and on. And those old ones knew a thing or two and had some truth
to tell. . . . You’re left with only your scars to mark the void.
All you can choose to do is go on or not. But if you go on, it’s
knowing you carry your scars with you.
Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!