shrug of a smile

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Senior Member
'I held the flashlight and let the light settle on one of her posters. In it, she wore her shrug of a smile and her dark hair in a bun. Half her body was submerged in the lake; behind her your could see the orange sun on the Seth's (alligator's) back plates.'
from Swamplandia! (a novel)
What does 'shrug of a smile' refer to?
Is it describing a way of smiling?

Please help. Thanks.
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Is it like a half-smile?
    That's how I would interpret it (it's not a set expression, but one the author has created): a sort of smile that doesn't really express happiness or enthusiasm, as smiles usually do.
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