Great Sentences: The Season of Divorce

Today’s sentence is from John Cheever’s short story The Season of Divorce


“With the play of green light from a television set on her drawn features and her thin hands stroking Fraulein, Mrs Trencher looked to me one evening like a good-hearted and miserable soul.”

Not a particularly long sentence, but I love the uneasy tone, as achieved by subtle details such as ‘the play of green light’, ‘drawn features’, and ‘thin hands’. These, in addition to ‘good-hearted’, help to deftly setup the jarring punchline ‘miserable soul’.

Read the Season of Divorce and other fantastic Cheever stories in Vintage Cheever: Collected Stories