So, when I finished reading, I kind of skipped right over any mention of Empire Falls. This was a great book that I read pretty quickly and very much enjoyed. The author writes with beautiful insight. Some of my favorite quotes:
"There was much to be thankful for, even if the balance of things remained too precarious to inspire confidence, so on nights like this one his life seemed almost ... almost enough."
"People were just themselves, their efforts to be otherwise notwithstanding."
"She was pretty, smart, shy and full of fun without knowing quite yet how to express this latent side of her personality. Neither popular nor unpopular, she wore unfashionable clothes at her mother's insistence and somehow intuited, as certain remarkable young girls will, that there were worse things than not being popular, that life was long, that she would one day have perfectly adequate breasts, that in fact there was nothing wrong with her ..."
"I mean, what if we assume our relationship to God to be one thing, and it's really something else? What if there's something central to the equation that we're leaving out? Maybe, like children, we assume ourselves to be of central importance, and we're not. Maybe the inequities that consume us here on earth aren't really the issue."
"So feeding the hungry isn't important?"
"Not exactly. Maybe it's important, but not quite in the way we think. Maybe, to God, it's our way of expressing the 'something else' that passeth beyond all understanding. Something we aren't meant to understand."
"Nonsense." Miles grinned. "I understand your grandmother perfectly, and so do you. You're trying to make a mystery out of selfishness."
Father Mark chuckled. "Yeah, I guess. She was a mean, self-centered old harridan. Still, we're attracted to a good mystery. Explanation, no matter how complete, isn't really that satisfying ..."