Nels Gudmundsson: It takes a rare thing, a turning point, to free oneself from any obsession. Be it prejudice or hate, or, even love.

Nels Gudmundsson: Accident rules every corner of the universe... except perhaps the chambers of the human heart.

[NB these are the last words in the novel]

Ishmael Chambers: I know you'll think this is crazy, but all I want to do is hold you, and I think that if you'll let me do that just for a few seconds, I can walk away, and never speak to you again.

Judge Fielding: That's quite enough horseplay, Nels. Try and act your age.

Nels Gudmundsson: I think if I did that, Your Honor, I'd be dead.

[laughter from the chamber]

Young Hatsue Imada: [snuggling] Do you think this is wrong?

Young Ishmael Chambers: Your friends would. Your dad would kill me.

Young Hatsue Imada: My mom is the problem.

Fujiko Imada: [remembering her mother's voice] Stay away from white boys. Marry one of your own kind, whose heart is strong and gentle.

Arthur Chambers: That's the thing with girls. They grew up and break your heart.

Young Hatsue Imada: Don't be sorry. I'm not.