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I need help to understand a part of a sentence from the book. Little simplified by me

But by early june monsoon breaks and there are months of winds and water with short spells of sunshine that thrilled children snatch to play with.

What bugs me is this part "thrilled children snatch to play with".what does it convey exactly? i mean I get that children got excited but are they excited to play snatch with other children?

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Full excerpt from "The God of Small Things" a novel by Arundhati Roy

May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month. The days are long and humid. The river shrinks and black crows gorge on bright mangoes in still, dustgreen trees. Red bananas ripen. Jackfruits burst. Dissolute bluebottles hum vacuously in the fruity air. Then they stun themselves against clear windowpanes and die, fatly baffled in the sun.

The nights are clear, but suffused with sloth and sullen expectation.

But by early June the southwest monsoon breaks and there are three months of wind and water with short spells of sharp, glittering sunshine that thrilled children snatch to play with. The countryside turns an immodest green. Boundaries blur as tapioca fences take root and bloom. Brick walls turn mossgreen. Pepper vines snake up electric poles. Wild creepers burst through laterite banks and spill across the flooded roads. Boats ply in the bazaars. And small fish appear in the puddles that fill the PWD potholes on the highways.

I agree the sentence is confusing as written. The trick is to recognize that what the children "snatch" are "spells of sharp, glittering sunshine". It's a figurative way to say that, in a season with mostly bad weather, children quickly take advantage of any good weather that comes along.

  • Wow.I didn't look at like that. – Manish Kumar Balayan Mar 5 at 16:23
  • @ManishKumarBalayan It's a tricky sentence. Although it's clear Roy is fluent in English, I don't know if it is her first language, and some sentences might be colored by how she would phrase them in a different language. She has an unusually figurative writing style that shows up all over the place, e.g. "Then they stun themselves against clear windowpanes and die, fatly baffled in the sun." It's fun, although it might get tedious after a while. – Andrew Mar 5 at 16:41
  • I think a more conventional word order would have been "that thrilled children to play snatch with". – SamBC Mar 5 at 22:12

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