His face was soft, the lines at the corners of his eyes nearly erased in the gentle spill of light--his crow's-feet, and how she loved that word, as if the bird's scaly claws had taken hold there like something out of a horror story, Edgar Allen Poe, the Raven, Nevermore, but wasn't a raven different from a crow and why not call them raven's-feet? People could have a hawk's nose--they always did in stories--but they had crow's-feet, and that didn't make any sense at all. (P1)
Graphic opening of this story engages its reader to go on, almost impatiently, and find out what exactly happened. A detail presentation of the heroine deep in a reverie of crow's-feet (laugh lines) creates a magic power of intimacy. As if saying: this is the ground rule of this play. now you know me. come, let's get this over with.
Here's my favorite sentences, in terms of word-use, rather than plot development:
...a restaurant down by the marina where you could sit outside and watch the way the sun struck the masts of the ships as they rocked on the tide and the light shattered and regrouped and shattered agaain. (P3)
Oh, how I love this! I've had those similar "revelatory, joyous" moments myselft but found them hard to put into words. J used to make fun of me whenever I tried to tell him one of those moments and I felt the exuciating bitterness of a lack of talent in words.
He sipped the wine, chewed, looked into her unparalleled eyes and felt the sun lay a hand across his shoulders, and in a sudden blaze of apprehension he glanced up at the gull that appeared on the railing behind her and saw the way the breeze touched its feathers and the sun whitened its breast till there was nothing brighter and more perfect in the world--this creature, hie fellow creature, and he was here to see it. (P5)
Summary: Account of a trial for drunk driving and other charges from the perspective of a little girl, whose witness in court is crutial to the case.
Apparently they'd found shelter somewhere, in the little gas station-cum-grocery that was La Conchita's sole commercial establishment, or maybe in one of the cars stalled behind me.
Here in this sentence, "gas station-cum-grocery" is a living example of "cum", the word, being something more than its vulgar sense, something else, something neutral.
Summary: A trucker driver feels the ecstacy of what the saints must have felt when he offers help to strangers suffering a mudslide.
It was eleven in the morning and beyond the window the hummingbirds were suspended over the roseate flowers of the trumpet vine as if sculpted out of air. Clouds bunched on the horizon. The sun was like butter.
Summary: A doctor lamented the tragic life of a child who feels no pain.