I did not re-shelve Shreve's book, and after a few days of allowing it to silently mock me and my miserable memory, I realized what I really wanted to do was to read the entire thing again, so that is what I did.
And I enjoyed it very much. The quality of writing surprised me--not that it was bad in my memory, but I didn't remember that it was actually quite good. The story works its way backwards through the relationship between Thomas Janes and Linda Fallon, whose lives intersected when they were 52, 26 and 17. That's a really vague synopsis, I know, but I don't want to give anything away.
So after I finished this book today, I decided to read my old blog post about it... only to discover there wasn't one. So of course I am compelled to make one. Though I neither have the desire nor the energy to make it very detailed or interesting.
Oh, and by the way--that passage I'd tried to find (but failed)? I happily succeeded in finding it during my re-read: