When I was in school, one of our teachers, Miss Flannery, had a class where we brought in the first sentence of our favourite book. Or a book we couldn’t forget. Or a book we had read. Some people don’t find there favourite book till later on. And it stuck with me, the importance of a first sentence. How it has to grab you, and let you know a little about how the story is going to be, without telling you too much.
The first sentences of my books are:
- Sometimes I think my father loves his moustache more than he loves me.
- When I grow up, I want to be a cruciverbalist.
- Breaking into a cemetery at midnight is not the finest way to turn sixteen.
The first sentence of the new one, Needlework, which is coming out in February is : First prepare the skin.
I think a lot about which ones to use, and when I’m choosing a book to read, I’ll often read a few first sentences in the bookshop before I make my decision.
What goes with what? Can you match them up?
- Last thing at night, I lie in bed and gaze at a grey face with big, wide eyes and tiny pupils, a face with a black line for a mouth which stretches right to left like an equator, a face that has arms and legs.
- “Saint Anthony will find your brooch for you- he’s the patron saint of lost things.”
- Gram is worried about me.
- There are only forty-eight hours left before I go back to school, and I’m going to have to spend at least two of them with a baby who hates me.
- Here We Are.
- It’s a weirdly subtle conversation.
- It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened.
- I wanted to be heroic and I pretended I was.
- I can’t say I wasn’t warned.
More importantly, which ones did you like, and why? I’ve read and loved all of these books, so let me know if you have too!