Yes, I know that yesterday should have been Day 2 of the book quote challenge, being that Friday was Day 1. I was busy running errands and didn’t get around to posting, so today has become Day 2. As I wrote in my prior post in this series, the challenge is to post a favorite book quote for three days and tag a new person to start posting each day.
Today’s quote comes from another favorite book of mine, All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin. It’s the first in a young adult trilogy called Birthright. Unfortunately, the other two books in the series are terrible and I wouldn’t recommend them at all, so normally I just pretend that this one stands alone. I’ve written about this book before, too.
Anyway, a bit of context for this quote. The protagonist, Anya, lives in New York City in 2083, when things are terribly corrupt, the country is messed up, and chocolate is banned, just like alcohol was during Prohibition. Anya’s father is a Russian mafia boss and her family is wealthy from illegally distributing chocolate in the United States.
Our country had only chosen chocolate because the people in power needed to pick something, and chocolate was what they could live without. Daddy once said, “Every generation spins the wheel, Anya, and where it lands defines ‘the good.’ Funny thing is, they never know that they’re spinning it, and it hits something different every time.”
I’ve always liked this passage. In the book, it occurs at a section when Anya is comparing the chocolate ban to Prohibition, but I think it applies to things going on in our time as well. My generation, the Millennials (I think I’m a Millennial) has its various causes célèbres that people latch onto. This isn’t unique to people living today, of course. For example, conducting séances used to be a really big deal in the nineteenth century. It was a fad—a very popular fad—and tons of people did it. Eventually it fell out of fashion and today, hardly anyone does that sort of thing anymore. I’m sure a lot of the ideas that are fads today will similarly be forgotten in fifty or a hundred years.
Within the context of the book, I like that quote because it gives depth to the character of Anya’s father. Normally, you’d expect a character who’s a mafia boss not to be someone you’d sympathize with, but this book is different.
Today, I’m tagging Amy from Ten Penny Dreams, an excellent blog I love. Amy calls herself a “literary lifestyle blogger,” which I think is a great description of what her blog is like. She lives in the north of England and always has interesting posts about what life is like there.
The last day of the challenge is tomorrow! I have a couple books in mind but I’m not sure which I’ll choose my quote from…