#4 |First Lines Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

‘ So the middle of my story comes in the winter of 1996. By then, we’d long since dwindled to the family that old home movie foreshadowed – me, my mother, and, unseen but evident behind the camera, my father. In 1996, ten years had passed since I’d last seen my brother, seventeen since my sister disappeared. The middle of my story is all about their absence, though if I hadn’t told you that, you might not have know. By 1996, whole days when by in which I hardly thought of either one.’

And the book behind the first lines is…..

We Were All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, which came home with me after a glance at that happy yellow cover. The premise dangled family dysfunction and a manipulated childhood. The prose was fascinating – playful, funny and powerful enough for me to remember characters who were mentioned once through the narrative because of Fowler’s description. A great book to study for writing tips…

Front Cover and Blurb

What if you grew up to realise that your father had used your childhood as an experiment?

Rosemary doesn’t talk very much, and about certain things she’s silent. She had a sister, Fern, her whirlwind other half, who vanished from her life, in circumstances she wishes she could forget. And it’s been ten years since she last saw her beloved older brother, Lowell.

Now at college, Rosemary starts to see that she can’t go forward without going back, back to the other time, when, aged five, she was sent away from her home to her grandparents and returned to find Fern gone.

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