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
Childhood was not my happiest time. But when the war came and I was sent to Bletchley Park I grew up. Quite frankly, I’ve been happy ever since. I never told anyone I was unhappy. One didn’t. I had two younger brothers but I wouldn’t have dreamed of confiding in them. Instead I became very self-contained about my feelings. My mother worked it out on the day she turned up at my boarding school unannounced and was greeted by the headmistress with more than the expected degree of surprise. Two weeks previously I had told everyone that my mother had died. It wasn’t my parents’ fault. They were born in the nineteenth century and brought up by Victorians. In fact my father, Arthur Campbell-Harris, hadn’t really been brought up by his parents at all – he had barely known them. My grandfather was Surgeon General in India, and when my father was still a young boy he had been sent ‘home’ to live with relations and go to school in England (which he hated). My mother, Doris Robson, was brought up as a sort of American princess: very very rich and rather spoilt. She never had to do anything for herself. Her father had come over to England from the United States in the 1880s and made an awful lot of money in the paint business and she was the heiress. She and my father brought me up much as they had been brought up: it was simply how one did it then. Young children led a nursery life, with mother and father sweeping in to say goodnight, all dressed up to go out for the evening with their friends in the Prince of Wales’ set. Later, you were packed off to school. I didn’t see much of them, and I found them rather frightening. There were no demonstrations of love and certainly no hugs.
And The Book Is…
I don’t usually read anything that deals with politics since I’m not into politics and I don’t like Trump for obvious reasons but I get given this book as a gift so I have to give it a try.