The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

“On deck, the wind hit me in the face like a punch, and I almost stumbled to the rail, hanging over it, feeling the pitch of the boat. The dark gray waves stretched out like a desert - mile upon mile, stretching out to the horizon, no sign of land of any kind, nor even a ship …”

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Mother by S. E. Lynes

‘That was how he described the knot he’d carried in his chest ever since he could remember - a knot that, no matter how often he picked at it, would never loosen. The knot persisted throughout his childhood, into his teens: a tight confusion of endless loops, without beginning without middle without end.’

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

"I was happy in those first days as really I'd never been before, roaming like a sleep-walker, stunned and drunk with beauty. ... The shock of first seeing a birch tree at night, rising up in the dark as cool and slim as a ghost. And the nights, bigger than imagining: black and gusty and enormous, disordered and wild with stars."

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

“When we are sad—at least I am like this—it can be comforting to cling to familiar objects, to the things that don't change. Your descriptions of the desert—that oceanic, endless glare—are terrible but also very beautiful. Maybe there's something to be said for the rawness and emptiness of it all."