"there would not be a soul left on the island within five years. She'd heard it all before, threats and promises both, threats being far more common than promises, but either way no one had actually set foot on the island to see out their intentions, well-meaning or otherwise."
"no good ever came of being noticed by mainlanders, which always meant being noticed by white people -- plain white, her mother and aunts and cousins called them, to distinguish them from the lighter-skinned Apple islanders..."
children from the Malaga Island schoolhouse -- from Greenhut Galleries
"As I do with all my novels, everything I'm reading, all the paintings I see, all the music I'm listening to, everything somehow or another gets thrown into the manuscript, in its earliest stages"
but in my own humble opinion, his time spent with Ethan's slowly-growing awareness of the beauty of the natural world and learning how to capture it in his art just went on too too long to the point where I actually lost interest, wanting to get back to the main throes of the story. I wasn't a huge fan of the biblical allusions/references either -- sometimes they felt a little strained as well as heavy handed. But those are my particular niggles, and to each his/her own.
I probably wouldn't have bought this book had it not appeared as part of the Booker dozen, but in the long run, and for many reasons, I'm glad I did.