First Lines Friday: March 24

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. The point is to judge a book by its opening lines rather than anything else, including the cover and the author. The rules are as follows:

  • 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!.

This time it’s a line from one of the books I’m currently reading (I’m always reading more than one):

124 was spiteful.

If that caught your attention and you want to know more, scroll down. (I think it’s an amazing first line.)

pencilarrows

The line is from Beloved by Toni Morrison. The book had been on my TBR pile for a long time and I’ve been putting it off because I knew it would be a heavy read. It’s even heavier than I expected, now that I’ve started reading it, but it’s so good. The language is amazing.

belovedStaring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.

Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison.


Have you read Beloved?

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