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
Stepney, London, 1939
‘’Ere, Poll! Your bleedin’ ‘Elayna’s broke the bog seat again,’ Edna shouted indignantly from the bottom of the stairs. ‘She might have a name like an effing duchess, but she don’t sit on the khazi like one.’
Polly Forester paused in searching her daughter’s long, dark brown hair for nits, and half smiled.
No one ever called Ellie by her real name, ‘Helena’ – which was intended to be pronounced in the Greek way, with an ‘a’ sound – not unless they wanted to tease or ridicule her. Edna Ross, their garrulous and often fearsome neighbour, loved to bawl it out as the ultimate, affectionate insult, always adding an extra ‘a’ or two for special effect.
‘’Ow can you be sure it weren’t Wilf?’ Polly shouted back good-naturedly. ‘’E’s got an arse like a rhinoceros!’
‘’Cos ’e’s bin down the pub all bleedin’ day,’ Edna shot back. ‘An’ I ’opes ’e stays there all bleedin’ night too.’
‘I’m sorry, Ed,’ Polly called back, spluttering with laughter. ‘I’ll fix it later.’
‘Don’t matter.’ Edna’s indignation was gone now, replaced by wheezy laughter.
And The Book Is..