Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (April 19)

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 Harriet Said by Beryl Bainbridge, first published in 1972 and my version has the beautiful cover illustrated below.

Harriet Said

A girl returns from boarding school to her sleepy Merseyside hometown and waits to be reunited with her childhood friend, Harriet, chief architect of all their past mischief. She roams listlessly along the shoreline and the woods still pitted with wartime trenches, and encounters ‘the Tsar’ – almost old, unhappily married, both dangerously fascinating and repulsive.
Pretty, malevolent Harriet finally arrives – and over the course of the long holidays draws her friend into a scheme to beguile then humiliate the Tsar, with disastrous, shocking consequences. A gripping portrayal of adolescent transgression, Beryl Bainbridge’s classic first novel remains as subversive today as when it was written. Amazon

~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Harriet said: No you don’t, keep walking.’ I wanted to turn round and look back at the dark house but she tugged my arm fiercely. We walked over the field hand in hand as if we were little girls.
I didn’t know what the time was, how late we might be. I only knew that this once it didn’t really matter. Before we reached the road Harriet stopped. I could feel her breath on my face, and over her shoulder I could see the street lamps shining and the little houses all sleeping. She bought her hand up and I thought she was going to hit me but she only touched my cheek with her fingers. She said ‘Don’t cry now.’

I’ve been itching to read this book ever since I bought it a couple of days and from that opening, I think I’m in for a real treat. Have you read this book? What did you think?

Do you want to know more? Please leave your thoughts and/or links in the comment box below!


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

35 thoughts on “First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (April 19)

  1. That beginning certainly sounds as though it has the makings of a compelling read, Cleo. Lots of creepiness there, even in that first paragraph. I hope you’ll enjoy it!


  2. It sounds wonderful! I’ve read one book by Beryl Bainbridge (Every Man For Himself — about the Titanic) and it was great. I hope you enjoy this one!


  3. I’ve never read any Beryl Bainbridge but somebody reviewed her recently – Ali? – and she’s now on the wishlist. Can’t wait to hear what you think of this one – I love the premise!


    1. I’d say it easily stands the test of time although it is important to remember attitudes were different in post-war Britain. Not many thirteen year olds would be allowed to roam as freely as Harriet and her friend did nowadays.


  4. You’re so right about that cover! It’s absolutely beautiful! It makes me want to be little again, so I could ride one of those pretty horses….lol.

    From the blurb and the opening, this book certainly sounds like a gripping read! I’m really intrigued as to what’s going to happen next. Definitely keep reading!

    Thanks for visiting, and commenting on my own Tuesday Intros post!! 🙂


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