" illegitimacy isn't a big deal any more!" (p35)
Jacob: " But what's the big deal? Everyone has babies without being married these days. Everyone lives together and gets remarried."
Josie: "We live in the same country but we're different. What's taboo for Italians isn't taboo for Australians." (p152)
" A daughter's behaviour always reflects on how good a mother is." (p37)
"you wanna go out?"
"You'd have to meet my mother." (p106)
Tomato day National Wog Day (p171)
" A tradition that we'll never let go. A tradition that I probably will never let go of either, simply because there are some things that could offend people I love. You live with such freedom Jacob You live without religion and culture. All you have to do is abide by the law."
Jacob: "Welcome to the nineties, Josephine. Women don't have to be virgins any more."
Josie: "Women don't have to be pushed into things anymoreit's (virginity) not a prize and I'm not a prize. But it's mine. It belongs to me and I can only give it away once and I want to be sure when it happens Jacobor one day someone else is doing it. I don't want to do it, Jacob, because everyone else is doing it." (p213)
Michael: "living is the challenge, Josie. Not dying. Dying is so easy. Sometimes it only takes ten seconds to die. But living? That can take you eighty years and you do something in that time, whether it is giving birth to a baby or being a housewife or a barrister or a soldier. You've accomplished something. To throw that away at such a young age, to have no hope, is the biggest tragedy." (p236)
"Father Stephen said that peace is a state of mind. We will never have world peace, John, so we have to be peaceful within ourselves and that will make us happy." (p134)
John Barton: "I've always had to be the best because it's been expected of me." (p46)
"But I don't know what I want to behow can I tell my father I don't want to study law, if I don't know what else I want to be." (p133-134)
Josie: "we're masters of our own destiny."
Lee: "That's rubbish. If your father's a dustman, you're going to be a dustman and if our father's filthy rich, you're going to be filthy rich because he'll introduce you to his rich friend's son. People breed with their own kindthe rich marry the rich, Josie, and the poor marry the poor. The dags will marry the dags and wogs marry wogs" (p144)
Sister Louise: "I know what came over you. You decided to become a sheep for the day, Josephine. You weren't a leader. You were a follower. You'll never amount to anything if you can be so easily influenced." (p181)
"You and your friends are trendsetters. The girls look up to you. They copy what you do. They'll probably slap you on the back to congratulate you when you get back to class. I couldn't afford to have my school captain set such a bad exampleyou have to remember that you aren't a leader because you're given a title. You're a leader because of what is inside of you. Because of how you feel about yourself." (p184)
Nonna Katia: "I am an old woman now and I deserve respect." (p36)
"But there is no respect left with the youth of today." (p37)
"Mam says that satisfaction isn't what I should search for. Respect is. Respect? I detest the word. Probably because in this world you have to respect the wrong people for the wrong reasons." (p138)
Josie: "It's not the youth of todayIt's you and people like you. Always worrying about what other people think. Always talking about other people." (p37)
"When I hear Nona Katia tell me about how life was forty odd years ago, I find it hard to believe that she was just seventeenwhen she married, and was taken half way across the world. But then again Mama was just seventeen when she gave birth to meit makes me realise how young we youth of today really are." (p79)
John: "I will not associate with pretentious people with nothing constructive to discuss except what kind of car they're getting for their 18th birthday." (p 47-48)
"The beautiful people are the ones who have the most modern hairstyles. If long hair is in, they've got it. If one gets her hair cropped, so do the others." (p80)
"no matter how smart I am or how much I achieve, I am always going to be a little ethnic from Glebe, as far as these people are concerned." (p167)
"Why do you have to wear those low medical shoes?'
"Maaa, they're Doc Martens." (p51)
"The time before class starts in the morning is the most exciting. Because we haven't seen each other for 16 hours, it's gossip galore" (p8)