I’m intrigued by first lines of novels. It’s hard to tell a story well, much less deliver an opening that snags your reader’s attention. Earlier this week, a number of writers Tweeted lines from their novels, either first lines or those randomly selected from a particular page. Some were intriguing, others … not so much. I won’t give up on a book if I don’t like the first line, but if it’s weak, I approach the following paragraphs with a healthy amount of skepticism.
I know. Tough crowd.
Because it’s Friday, because I’m a word wrangler, because my children are otherwise occupied at the moment … here’s a few of my favorite first lines from authors I genuinely admire.
“The girl with the haunted eyes reentered his life on the other side of a lowering casket, humidity and the shrill song of cicadas tangling together in the South Carolina heat.” –A Broken Kind of Beautiful, by Katie Ganshert (Christy Award finalist)
“Waiting is a complicated longing.” –After the Leaves Fall, by Nicole Baart
“I fell in love with William Ashe at gunpoint, in a Circle K.” -Someone Else’s Love Story, Joshilyn Jackson
“I rubbed my eyes, blew the steam off my Waffle House coffee, and steered with my knees.” -Unwritten, by Charles Martin
“Emmy awoke to the song of the wind in the bottle tree, to the black night and the winter chill, and knew Ben was gone from her the way the moon knows the ocean’s tides.” –On Folly Beach, by Karen White
“Every smiley moon, without fail, Claire dreamed of her childhood.” –Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen
“This is the glory hour. This is the place the magic happens.” –The Story Keeper, Lisa Wingate (Christy Finalist)
“I acted hateful to Dorrie the first time we met, a decade or so ago. A person gets up in years and forgets to use her filters.” –Calling Me Home, by Julie Kibler
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring a first line from one of the novellas in Splash! 9 Refreshing Romances Filled with Faith. This eBook collection is available for a limited time. Pre-order here for only 99 cents.
“A sea-salty breeze caressed Teresa Reynolds’ face as she stepped out onto the small balcony that would be hers for the weekend.” –Testing the Waters, by Lesley Ann McDaniel
Your turn: what’s your favorite first line from a recent novel? Share in the comments, I’d love to hear it.