Beginnings

I don’t know how…. I don’t know why….

Oh, wait! Yes I do! I remember now.

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I have just finished reading A Breath of Eyre and discovered that it is part of a trilogy. The next book, A Touch of Scarlet, weaves in elements from The Scarlet Letter. The third book in the trilogy, A Phantom Enchantment, scheduled for release in 2014, draws its inspiration and story-line from The Phantom of the Opera. (Obviously.)

Since I had so much fun reading A Breath of Eyre I want to read the other 2 as well, which means I’ll be reading The Scarlet Letter and Phantom of The Opera first- which is very cool because I’ve always wanted to read Phantom of the Opera. Now I have a reason to move it to the top of my list ( =

I was a bit anxious (excited) to get started on both The Scarlet Letter and Phantom of the Opera, and I was very curious about the opening sentence(s) for each. So I used the Overdrive app on my Nook to download the ebooks from my library. Unfortunately, neither of them had an opening sentence that really grabbed me, but I am still looking forward to reading them both. However, the whole thing got me thinking about opening sentences in general, and thus this post was inspired.

Listed below are the opening sentences of several novels. Many are quite recognizable and famous, but others are just my personal favorites. I will start with what is my current favorite- No other opening sentence has ever got me like this one:
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“She was born Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, and she did not open her eyes for three days.”
Shannon Hale, The Goose Girl

Ah! I just love that! I just wanna put it on the floor and make “snow-angels” in it! It is just so lovely-luscious and decadent!

On a different note, if I were to ever write a memoir there’s a chance it would begin something like this, the opening sentence of Tristram Shandy:

“I wish either my father  or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound  to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly  considered how much depended upon what they were then doing;—that not only  the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the  happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very  cast of his mind;—and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the  fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and  dispositions which were then uppermost:—Had  they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,—I am verily persuaded I should have  made a quite different figure in the world…”
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Here’s to beginnings.
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Rage — Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,
The Iliad (Translated by Robert Fagles (1990)

Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilleus
The Iliad (Translated by Richmond Lattimore (1951)

Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story
The Odyssey (Translated by Robert Fitzgerald (1961)

“My lady and I are being shut up in a tower for seven years.”
Shannon Hale, Book of a Thousand Days

“Everyone is born with some special talent, and Eliza Sommers discovered early on that she had two: a good sense of smell and a good memory.”
Isabel Allende, Daughter of Fortune

“Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charms.”
Margaret Mitchel, Gone With The Wind

“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversation?’ ”
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland

“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station  will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.”
Charles Dickens, David  Copperfield

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”
J. D. Salinger, The Catcher In The Rye

“The day I laid Robert Morgan to rest was remarkable for two reasons. First, even though it was August, the sky overhead was as rough and cold as a January lake, and second, it was the day I started to shrink.”
Tiffany Baker, The Little Giant of Aberdeen County 

“Suppose that you and I were sitting in a quiet room overlooking a garden, chatting and sipping at our cups of green tea while we talked about something that had happened a long while ago, and I said to you, “That afternoon when I met so-and-so…was the very best afternoon of my life, and also the very worst afternoon.””
Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

“People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old-girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father’s blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen everyday.”
Charles Portis, True Grit

“At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin.”
Sue Monk Kid, The Secret Life of Bees

“You don’t know about me without you have read a book  by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.”
Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

“I have always been told I was wicked. This is my story, then:  full of my wickedness and my attempts at goodness, of power found, lost, and found again. Of beliefs destroyed and rebuilt, of faith in oneself and in others.”
Linda Holeman, The Moonlit Cage (Opening lines of the prologue.)

“My grandmother was called Mahdohkt- Daughter of the Moon.”
Linda Holeman, The Moonlit Cage (Opening line of chapter one.)

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”
Jane Austen, Emma 

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
Pride & Prejudice

“No one who had ever seen Catherine Moreland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine.”
Northanger Abbey

MONDAY 27 JANUARY
129 lbs. (total fat groove), boyfriends 1 (hurrah!), shags 3 (hurrah!), calories 2,100, calories used up by shags 600, so total calories 1,500 (exemplary).
7:15 a.m.  Hurrah! The wilderness years are over. For four weeks and five days now have been in functional relationship with adult male thereby proving am not love pariah as previously feared.
Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.”
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone

“When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of The Rings

“Be careful what you wish for. I know that for a fact.”
Alice Hoffman, The Ice Queen

“In a cave in the woods, in his deep, dark lair, through the long, cold winter sleeps a great brown bear.”
Karma Wilson, Bear Snores On
(This is my favorite children’s book, I love to read it to my kids time and time again.)

“This is a story about a man named Eddie and it begins at the end, with Eddie dying in the sun. It might seem strange to start a story with an ending. But all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”
Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven 

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