Today I thought I would post some of my favourite opening lines to novels. I think this can be really helpful for thinking about how to hook a reader which I will be talking about in my next blog post, on Wednesday.
So, here goes…
The story that follows is one I never intended to commit to paper. Recently, however, a shock of sorts has prompted me to look back over the most troubling episodes of my life and of the lives of the several people I loved best.
The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova
I can’t remember the last week with any clarity.
I want to be able to remember I because it was the last time anything wa in any way unremarkable.
The Trick is to Keep Breathing, Janice Galloway
She hangs in the National Portrait Gallery now. Her smile has not faltered through the years, and her hair still falls just above her jaw, as sleek as cats fur. She sits awkwardly, the pose of a moment held for eternity.
The Book of Lost and Found, Lucy Foley
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
‘Whenever you feel like criticising any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
I’m Homer, the blind brother. I didn’t lose my sight all at one, it was like the movies, a slow fade-out.
Homer & Langley, E.L. Doctorow
The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation. He’d been dead for ten days, before they found him, you know.
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
I hope you are inspired to read some of these books if there are any you haven’t already read. Please share your favourite opening lines below and I’ll be back with a post on hooking a reader on Wednesday.