“A story was a form of telepathy. By means of inking symbols onto a page, she was able to send thoughts and feelings from her mind to her reader’s. It was a magical process, so commonplace that no one stopped to wonder at it.”

From ‘Atonement’ by Ian McEwan

“They wanted spring, of course they wanted it, more than anything. They longed for sun with every pore of their skin. But spring hurts. If spring can come, if things can be different, how can you bear what your existence has been?”

From ‘The Siege’ by Helen Dunmore

“The four of them ran like wild deer, leaping low bushes of lavender and thyme, whooping with panicky delight, lean and light and half-naked—or, more accurately, nine-tenths naked —through the pine trees and après-midi dappling. They ran on winged feet, and their laughter looped the air behind them like chains of bubbles in translucent water.

High up on the swimming pool terrace the little family, frozen together for a photographic instant, watched their flight open-mouthed, like the ghosts of summers past; or, indeed, of summers yet to come.”

From ‘Up At A Villa’ by Helen Simpson

“Tell them stories. They need the truth. You must tell them true stories, and everything will be well, just tell them stories.”

From ‘The Amber Spyglass’ by Philip Pullman