Greatest Literature banner

The Cider House Rules

Critique • Quotes

The Cider House Rules first editionFirst edition
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication

Literature form


Writing language

Author's country
Unitd States

Approx. 265,000 words

Notable lines

In the hospital of the orphanage—the boys' division at St Cloud's, Maine—two nurses were in charge of naming the new babies and checking that their little penises were healing from the obligatory circumcision.

— First line

He cried and cried, but he never made a sound; he would have to change Dr. Larch’s pillowcase in the morning, he cried so much. He cried because he had received his first fatherly kisses.


Melony had taken Jane Eyre with her; he accepted this as a hopeful sign—wherever Melony went, she would not be without guidance, she would not be without love, without faith; she had a good book with her. If only she'll keep reading it, and reading it, Larch thought.


"No, not in a better world!" he cried. "In this one—in this world. I take this world as a given. Talk to me about this world!"


"You can't interfere with people you love any more than you're supposed to interfere with people you don't even know. And that's hard...because you often feel like interfering—you want to be the one who makes the plans."


To Nurse Edna, who was in love, and to Nurse Angela, who wasn't (but who had in her wisdom named both Homer Wells and Fuzzy Stone), there was no fault to be found in the hearts of either Dr. Stone or Dr. Larch, who were—if there ever were—Princes of Maine, Kings of New England.

— Last line


Critique • Quotes