You Had Me at Page One

After reading Jenny's post about first sentences in books, I thought it would be fun to go through some of the books I've been reading lately and see what their first sentences are. The following first sentences are taken strictly from fiction that I have read in this last year, and it does not mean that these are favorite books, by any means, although many of them are good.

                          Source: via Eyebright on Pinterest

~Chris Walley, in The Shadow and Night

Nekonkh, captain of the Nile boat Silver Beetle, paused for the fiftieth time beside his vessel's high beaked prow and shaded his eyes to peer anxiously across the wharfs. 
~ Eloise Jarvis McGraw, in Mara, Daughter of the Nile

"Galwyn's feeding the fishes again," the mate called as I emptied the odorous bucket overboard. 
~ Anne McCaffrey, in Black Horses for the King

"Well, if there be any truth in the old adage, young Herman Brudenell will have a prosperous life; for really this is a lovely day for the middle of April - the sky is just as sunny and the air as warm as if it were June," said Hannah Worth, looking out from the door of her hut upon a scene as beautiful as ever shone beneath the splendid radiance of an early spring morning. 
~ E.D.E.N. Southworth, in Ishmael

Awful as the anguish of his parting with Claudia had been, it was not likely that Ishmael, with his strength of intellect and will, would long succumb to despair. 
~ E.D.E.N. Southworth, in Self-Raised (Ishmael's sequel)

The dreary March evening is rapidly passing from murky gloom to obscurity. 
~ Edward P. Roe, He Fell in Love with His Wife

Peter Blood, bachelor of medicine and several other things besides, smoked a pipe and tended the geraniums boxed on the sill of his window above Water Lane in the town of Bridgewater. 
~ Rafael Sabatini, in Captain Blood

Taran wanted to make a sword; but Coll, charged with the practical side of his education, decided on horseshoes.
 ~ Lloyd Alexander, in The Book of Three

Rose sat all alone in the big best parlor, with her little handkerchief laid ready to catch the first tear, for she was thinking of her troubles, and a shower was expected. 
~ Louisa May Alcott, in Eight Cousins

Abbot Bernard folded his paws deep into the wide sleeves of his garb. 
~ Brian Jacques, in Mariel of Redwall

Tor raised his eyes toward the very top of the high hill where the Castle of Camelot stood. 
~ Eugenia Stone, in Page Boy of Camelot

Now, if you read all of those (double points if you did!), tell me in the comments which ones you liked, or ones that made you want to know more, or ones that you thought were exceptionally good first sentences, and tell me why!


  1. Well, I cannot be wholly charged with ignorance. Though of this collection I have read only Mara, Daughter of the Nile, (and that in some ages past) and Black Horses for the King, I can say that I am acquainted with E.D.E.N. Southworks's pieces, I know who Poe is, I've read Alexander's first Prydain novel, I know of Redwall, and my sister-in-law read Eight Cousins to my niece. Not a bad apology, I hope.

    I am well due to read Mara again, that is for sure. Your posting of the opening sentence rekindled that interest. For a collection of books read just this past year, I find this post highly commendable. Keep up the good reading!

  2. Anonymous5:37 AM

    Mara, Daughter of the Nile... that opening caught me. Too bad I know what happens since I've read it! :) I know my sister has been reading at least one of those other books for school... I think its Black Horses for the King.

    What a neat idea... I would agree that the first page of a book determines a lot. No one likes to have to read through a tedious or boring opening before getting to the good stuff!

    Happy Reading!!!
    Rachel (not signed in!)

  3. The The Book of Three looks really interesting. So does Black Horses for the King and Mara, Daughter of the Nile.
    I'll have to look them up at our library.
    Simply love Eight Cousins and Mariel of Redwall.


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