a series of rapid, deft movements

p. 15:

she yawned and with a series of rapid, deft movements stood up into the room.

I like the cinematic quality of this description of Jordan’s languid physical grace. Fitzgerald doesn’t describe what she does – maybe she brushes off her dress, flexes her hands, crosses and uncrosses her legs. But who knows, it’s just those “rapid, deft movements” – the actual motions are less important than the way they look on the screen. That “stood up into the room” phrase can seem curious: she’s already in the room, how can she enter it again by standing up? But it works because it’s like a shot in a movie, where you see her come into the frame as she stands up. I haven’t seen any film version of this book in part because I can’t stand to have the picture in my mind interpreted another way, or worse, not interpreted at all.

I also like this look at Jordan’s face: “Her grey sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming discontented face.” These women are mean, but you don’t realize it, you never realize it until long after it’s over.

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