…people generally agree, for a wife to wake up before her husband.
And so begins the book, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, the new novel in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series, written by Alexander McCall Smith.
I have a fascination with first lines of books. I even have a game, called Liebrary, based around them (although I can’t find anyone to play it with me 🙂 ) Somewhere along the way in our homeschooling experience, a friend mentioned that her kids were keeping track of the first sentences in books they were reading. I think it is a great idea, although I never consistently did it or had my children do it.
This particular first line, however, struck me as a winner.
Here are the first lines of some other books I am currently reading or have just finished:
“I simply can’t resist any longer”. from: Out to Pasture (but not over the hill), by Effie Leland Wilder. This is the book I’m reading at the gym. I found that I could not concentrate on more serious books very well while riding an exercise bike. Plus, with serious books, I’m often compelled to underline profound things, and the underlining ends up looking like I’m either trying to cross it out or my 4-year-old decided to scribble on the page. This book is a very lighthearted novel set in a retirement center.
“I wanted to find my own way, so this morning I persuaded my father to let me travel alone from his apartment in Kobe to my grandfather’s beach house in Tarumi.” from: The Samurai’s Garden, by Gail Tsukiyama. Despite the rather unassuming first line, this is a powerful story set in Japan, 1937-1938. As with the previously mentioned book on elderly people, this one ends up affirming the value and beauty of life and relationships in unexpected places and with the least likely people. In a culture where suicide can be seen as the honorable thing to do, one woman’s choice to accept her suffering and to live, stands out. I’m terrible at book reviews. How do you talk ABOUT a book that tells a story in such an amazing way? Any words describing it seem to miss the point. So, let me tritely say, “I loved this book.”
“The impetus for this book comes from the ultimate reality of God as the supreme value in and above the universe.” Obviously, I’m not reading THIS book at the gym 🙂 I am enjoying it, though. And I just realized I’m not going to tell you the title or author. I want to see if anybody can guess who it is, because it sounds so much like something this author would say that I think surely someone will figure it out!
Do you have some favorite first lines of books you have read? How about a book you are reading now? I’m always looking for more books, so feel free to give your recommendations in a comment below.
“…it is also a good thing for those wives whose husbands are inclined to be irritable first thing in the morning–and by all accounts there are many of them, rather too many. If the wives of such men are up and about first, the husbands can be left to be ill-tempered by themselves.” (a few more sentences from The Good Husband of Zebra Drive. Now, don’t you want to rush out and read the book for yourself?)
I’m off to order some books from Amazon with a gift certificate I received!