American writer and filmmaker
- I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen. The first of those came as a terrible shock and, like anything else that changes you forever, split my life into halves: Before and After."
- Prologue, Page 8
- My grandfather was the only member of his family to escape Poland before the Second World War broke out. He was twelve years old when his parents sent him into the arms of strangers, putting their youngest son on a train to Britain with nothing more than a suitcase and the clothes on his back. It was a one-way ticket. He never saw his mother or father again, or his older brothers, his cousins, his aunts and uncles. Each one would be dead before his sixteenth birthday, killed by the monsters he had so narrowly escaped. But these weren’t the kind of monsters that had tentacles and rotting skin, the kind a seven-year-old might be able to wrap his mind around—they were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep, so banal you don’t recognize them for what they are until it’s too late.
- Like the monsters, the enchanted-islands story was also a truth in disguise. Compared to the horrors of mainland Europe, the children's home that had taken in my grandfather must've seemed like a paradise, and so in his stories it had become one: a safe haven of endless summers and guardian angels and magical children, who couldn't really fly or turn invisible or lift boulders, of course. The peculiarity for which they'd be hunted was simply their Jewishness. They were orphans of war, washed up on that little island in a tide of blood. What made them amazing wasn’t that they had miraculous powers; that they had escaped the ghettos and gas chambers was miracle enough.
- When I was fifteen, an extraordinary and terrible thing happened, and there was only Before and After.
- Prologue, Page 18
- All I could think was that grandfathers were supposed to die in beds, in hushed places humming with machines, not in heaps on the sodden reeking ground with ants marching over them, a brass letter opener clutched in one trembling hand.
- Chapter 1
- A falling-down wreck on the edge of town, curtains permanently drawn, that would turn out to have been home to some ancient recluse who'd been surviving on ramen and toenail clippings since time immemorial, though no one realizes it until a property appraiser or an overly ambitious census taker barges in to find the poor soul returning to dust in a La-Z-Boy. People get too old to care for a place, their family writes them off for one reason or another—it's sad, but it happens.
- Chapter 3, Page 79
- Finally I came upon a pair of rooms missing entire walls, into which a little forest of underbrush and stunted trees had grown. I stood in the sudden breeze wondering what could possibly have done that kind of damage and began to get the feeling that something terrible had happened here. I couldn't square my grandfather's idyllic stories with this nightmare house, nor the idea that he'd found refuge here with the sense of disaster that pervaded it. There was more left to explore, but suddenly it seemed like a waste of time; it was impossible that anyone could still be living here, even the most misanthropic recluse. I left the house feeling like I was further than ever from the truth.
- Chapter 3, Page 81
- When someone won't let you in, eventually you stop knocking.
- Chapter 4, Page 88
- Sometimes you just need to go through a door.
- Chapter 4, Page 92
- It was true of course, what my dad had said: I did worship my grandfather. There were things about him that I needed to be true, and his being an adulterer was not one of them. When I was a kid, Grandpa Portman's fantastic stories meant it was possible to live a magical life. Even after I stopped believing them, there was still something magical about my grandfather. To have endured all the horrors he did, to have seen the worst of humanity and have your life made unrecognizable by it, to come out of all that the honorable and good and brave person I knew him to be—that was magical. So I couldn't believe he was a liar and a cheater and a bad father. Because if Grandpa Portman wasn't honorable and good, I wasn't sure anyone could be.
- Chapter 4, Page 92
- It was one thing for a grandparent to withhold something […] from a grandchild, quite another for a father to keep it from his son—and for so long.
- Chapter 4, Page 96
- I didn't know how to respond. How do you say I'm sorry your father didn't love you enough(YEAH RIGHT) to your own dad? I couldn't, so instead, I just said goodnight and headed upstairs to bed.
- Chapter 4, Page 97
- Part of me felt like something momentous was about to happen. The other part of me expected to wake up at any moment, to come out of this fever dream or stress episode or whatever it was and wake up with my face in a puddle of drool on the Smart Aid break room table and think, Well, that was strange, and then return to the boring old business of being me. But I didn't wake up.
- Chapter 6, Page 139
- I'm no expert on girls, but when one tries to pinch you four times, I'm pretty sure that's flirting.
- Chapter 7, Page 190
- Stars, too, were time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize that we were alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries - but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.
- Chapter 11
- I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.
- Chapter 11, Page 351
- Their memory was something tangible and heavy, and I would carry it with me.
- Chapter 11, Page 351
- Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Philadelphia, PA: Quirk Books, 2011. Print. ISBN 978-1-59474-476-1.