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
‘Make sure you get carrots from the front of the counter,’ Gwen Stratton glanced up from writing a shopping list. ‘There were several bad ones last week. And don’t go hanging around in Woolworth’s, Prudence, you know how Father feels about that!’
To an outsider stepping in from the frosty streets, the Saturday morning scene in the kitchen of number 14 Easton Street had a look of almost Victorian cosy domesticity. Mother sitting at the scrubbed wood table juggling a list of requirements against the meagre pile of coins in front of her; the four children dutifully engaged in various tasks around her.
An Aladdin paraffin stove, a pan of boiling handkerchiefs and meat being browned in a frying pan added diverse smells to the warm, steamy fug. The clatter of dishes, the polishing of brass and little James chattering to himself as he sat on his potty, almost concealed the resentment which emanated from all but the youngest member of the family.
All four children were remarkably alike and small for their ages. Four white-blond heads, pale, thin faces, big blue eyes. Charity and Prudence, fifteen and ten respectively, dressed alike in quaintly old-fashioned navy blue serge smock dresses and long grey socks, both with their hair neatly plaited. Tobias was nine, his shirt, long shorts and pullover all grey, his face streaked with black from the Brasso he was rubbing into candlesticks and an embossed wall plaque of a boat.
And The Book Is..