Lying on the cot, she stares at the ceiling. A random design of holes is punched into the acoustic tiles. She searches idly for patterns, as one might scan the night sky for crabs and hunters and lions. Here is what might be a face with one eye, there a dig with an enormous tail. Only a desperate need for sense, she thinks, could connect these dots into pictures, or the constallations into a meaningful universe.
- Debra Dean, The Madonnas of Leningrad. Page 188.
This was a fantastic book. It takes on the power of Art, wartime Russia, and the effects of scenility in a moving way without resorting to sentimentality. No mean feat! I also loved reading it with the iPhone where I could quickly look up the paintings that were being referenced. Good stuff!