Posted in Weekly Posts

Tuesday ~ First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (March 10)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

My book this week is one that I’ve had on my kindle for over a year having first come across it on  Confessions of a Mystery Novelist… if you haven’t come across this blog and you love crime fiction you really should take a visit.  Margot Kinberg  has a wealth of knowledge and is always willing to answer questions if your recall isn’t up to her high standards!

Out of the Silence


I have a baby, two shillings, no reputation and nowhere to go, but even so I cannot imagine what far worse might be.
Out of the Silence is a stunning debut novel about three women from very different worlds: Maggie Heffernan, a spirited working-class country girl; Elizabeth Hamilton, whose own disappointment in love has served only to strengthen her humanity; and the remarkable Vida Goldstein, the suffragist who was to become the first woman to stand for Parliament.
When Maggie’s life descends into darkness after a terrible betrayal, the three women’s lives collide. Around this tragedy Wendy James has constructed a masterfully drawn and gripping fiction. Based on a true story, it unfolds at the dawn of the twentieth century against the compelling backdrop of the women’s suffrage movement and a world on the brink of enormous change.
The novel powerfully evokes the plight of women in the early 1900s – not least their limited options, whatever their class and education. However, at its heart this is a story of love – of love gone wrong; of its compromises and disappointments; but ultimately of its extraordinary transformative power. Amazon

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Hawthorn, Melbourne

17 January 1900

I’m looking down at this baby’s head, thinking that it’s too big, that it’s not right an infant’s head should be so big, and watching it work away at my breast, when the missus comes in, hems trailing along the floor and never a bother to her that the skirt will need washing earlier than it ought. She stands right in front of me, her hands clasped, eyebrows raised. ‘Maggie,’ she says in that soft way I have got to know so quickly – the very same way she asked me whether I have ever had any diseases of the organisation, whether I drink spirits or take laudanum – oh-so-polite, but no disguising the nastiness beneath. Maggie,’ she says there’s a gentleman here to see you. She looks down at the baby. ‘Has he finished? You can give him to me if he’s had enough.’

Do you want to know more? Would you keep reading?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below and I recommend reading the Spotlight Post on this book from Confessions of a Mystery Novelist



A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

53 thoughts on “Tuesday ~ First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (March 10)

  1. I don’t think I like this ‘missus’ very much! This sounds like a really interesting read, especially how it brings together people from different layer sof society (hate that expression)! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I hope you have a great week!
    My Tuesday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words


  2. Oh, I love the sound of these lines….and the blurb grabbed me as well. I do love anything connected to the Suffragette Movement, as well as the Second Wave of Feminists (my times! LOL). Thanks for sharing…and for visiting my blog.


    1. I’d never really considered what the Suffragette Movement was doing in Australia at this time, the history is fascinating especially against the background of a true story… thanks for returning my call 🙂


  3. Cleo – Thank you so much for the kind mention and the link! So much appreciated! And I’m glad you’ve gotten the chance to start this novel. I hope you’ll really enjoy it and I’m keen to read your review of it when you’ve finished.


  4. Definitely some sort of class system going on here. I’ve never heard anyone call a baby’s head big. I just feel the lady standing is all about power. While the lady or girl nursing the baby, is the underling.


  5. Hi Cleo,

    I checked this one out on Goodreads, along with the author and have already added it to my overflowing ‘Want To Read’ list, it sounds that good!

    I also like this particular version of the cover art, for me it adds wonderfully to the idea of the working class woman living in the shadow of the two more dominant female characters.

    Definitely first lines that would keep me reading, thanks for sharing 🙂



    1. That’s great I’m glad this book has found someone else who will appreciate it and I do hope you get around to reading it slightly more speedily than I did (those long lists of books means that things get lost) The cover is inspired isn’t it?


    1. Thank you – I’m glad you like the sound of this one despite your reservations about the genre. Blogging really has opened my eyes to titles that I’d never have picked up in the past too, probably why my TBR is enormous!


  6. I don’t think so. I rarely read historical novels. In fact it surprised me how much I loved Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, but I do love cold settings so maybe that had something to do with it… Odd. Bumbles off…


    1. What a fantastic comment Rebecca! As you know I’m partial to history, particularly that which focusses on women so this was perfect for me and I’m so grateful to Margot for her recommendation. You have reminded me thought that Burial Rites is still on the TBR!


  7. I’ve read a couple of Wendy James’ books before, but not this one. It interests me, so I’ll keep an eye out for it. I think you’d like The Mistake, Cleo.

    Thanks for visiting my TT.


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