Favorite First Lines


This article is part of the Rolling Mystery Blog Tour Ink group for the Monday roll. For other articles on this subject, please visit the other members listed below.

And now on to my take on Favorite First Lines:

There was just no way to choose only one favorite first line. I’ve read hundreds of books and have hundreds to go. But I did narrow my favorites down to five. So here they are:

From Cane River by Lalita Tademy: On the morning of her ninth birthday, the day after Madame Francoise Derbanne slapped her, Suzette peed on the rosebushes.

How could you not love that first line! This is a great historical set in the South beginning in the early 1800’s and following several generations of women in one family of slaves.

Next: From The Eye of The World by Robert Jordan: The Wheel of Time Turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend.

This is my all time favorite fantasy, the first in a series.

Next: From One For The Money by Janet Evanovich: There are some men who enter a woman’s life and screw it up forever.

A great cozy with a myriad of characters, including Stephanie Plum, the most inept Bond Enforcement agent ever.

Next: From Stones From The River by Ursula Hegi: As a child Trudi Montag thought everyone knew what went on inside others.

Ms. Hegi is a genius. This book follows the life of a little person from her childhood before WWI, through WWII in Germany.  I’ve read it twice and it was even better the second time.

And finally: From Gilead by Marilynne Robinson: I told you last night that I might be gone sometime, and you said, Where, and I said, To be with the Good Lord, and you said, Why, and I said, Because I’m old, and you said I don’t think you’re old.

Another great historical set in America, if I remember correctly, sometime in the 1940’s. It’s been a while since I read it, but never fear. It stays on the shelf for another run through.

I don’t keep a lot of books after I’ve read them, but these five books are keepers, to be read and savored forever. I know I’ll run across other great first lines, and in fact, I didn’t even look through a good portion of what I have on the shelves throughout my home. But these books are ones that stuck with me. When I need a good laugh, or to be reminded of how good I have it, or I just need to live in a fantasy world for a while, these books have been my favorites, and their first lines are some of the best hooks in American writing.

For more articles on this subject, see the blogs listed below:

Kathleen Kaska — http://www.kathleenkaskawrites.blogspot.com

Nancy Lauzon — http://www.chickdickmysteries.com/blog

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5 comments on “Favorite First Lines

  1. Ryder,
    You’ve introduced me to four new books. I’ve read Janet Evanovich and I agree that her first lines are pricelessly funny. The other books you mentioned will be added to my must-read list.
    Thanks,
    Kathleen

  2. Great post, Ryder. I’ll have to check out those books too.

  3. Liz Shaw says:

    I love collecting first lines to books. You shared a couple that are new to me. The one from Cane River is a stitch!

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