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!
By Sunday the wedding would be over, and for that Winn Van Meter was grateful. It was Thursday. He woke early, alone in his Connecticut house, a few late stars still burning above the treetops. His wife and two daughters are already on Waskeke, in the island house, and as he came swimming up out of sleep, he though of them in their beds there: Biddy keeping to her side, his daughters; hair fanned over their pillow. But first he thought of a different girl (or barely thought of her-she was a bubble bursting on the surface of a dream) who was also asleep on Waskeke. She would be in one of the brass beds up on the third floor, under the eaves; she was one of his daughter’s bridesmaids.
And the book behind the first lines is…..
..Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead, a novel packed with engaging characters and a splendiferous setting. The story takes place over three days which made it ripe for intensity. Winn was a particularly tragic protagonist, with the east coast upper crust rules an unyielding antagonist.
Fun fact about this book: I was looking for Shipping News but forgot the title when I was in the bookshop and confused that with this book.
Looking back through my book journal I realise that I gave it 5 stars when I read it back in 2015 so read it now if you haven’t yet!
Front Cover and Blurb
The Van Meter have gathered at their family retreat on the New England island of Waskeke to celebrate the marriage of daughter Daphne to an impeccably appropriate young man. The weekend is full of lobster and champagne, salt air and practical bonhomie, but long-buried discontent and simmering lust seep through the cracks in the revelry. Winn Van Meter, father-of-the-bride, has spent his life following the rules of the east coast upper crust, but now, just shy of his sixtieth birthday, he must fully confront his failings, his desires and his own humanity.
Lausanne, July 2015