Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (February 7)

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.

This week I’m sharing the opening paragraph from The Trophy Child by Paula Daly, a favourite author of mine and in this book she’s sharing something that I find disquieting – the helicopter parent.



A doting mother or a pushy parent?

Karen Bloom expects perfection. Her son, Ewan, has been something of a disappointment and she won’t be making the same mistake again with her beloved, talented child, Bronte.

Bronte’s every waking hour will be spent at music lessons and dance classes, doing extra schoolwork and whatever it takes to excel.

But as Karen pushes Bronte to the brink, the rest of the family crumbles. Karen’s husband, Noel, is losing himself in work, and his teenage daughter from his first marriage, Verity, is becoming ever more volatile. The family is dangerously near breaking point.

Karen would know when to stop . . . wouldn’t she? Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Part 1

Monday, September 21

The girls’ changing room smelled heavily of sweat, mud and a sickly-sweet deodorant that was beginning to irritate the back of her throat. She didn’t have a lot of enthusiasm for hockey. Not a lot of enthusiasm for school, full stop, now that she was on a probationary period. It was to be a period of indeterminate length, during which her behaviour would be monitored by a variety of well-meaning professionals.

Verity Bloom: not quite a lost cause.
Not yet.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I wonder what was behind the author’s choice to feature the ‘second’ child in this opening rather than Bronte – well whatever the reason, I’m strongly suspecting this will be a great read as long as Karen’s behaviour doesn’t annoy me too much!

What do you think? Have you read The Trophy Child? Do you want to?


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

40 thoughts on “First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (February 7)

  1. Hi Cleo,
    I really liked this as a very first line “A doting mother or a pushy parent?”
    There is a very fine line between the two and I suspect that Karen is about to cross it in a very spectacular and catastrophic way.
    I have come across the name of Paula Daly before, but haven’t read any of her books, although I have “What Kind Of Mother Are You?” on my list.
    Do I sense a common theme emerging here?
    Enjoy the book and have a good week 🙂


  2. This one sounds quite suspenseful, Cleo, with all sorts of family dynamics coming into play. I really hope you’ll enjoy it, and I’m looking forward to your review.


  3. Oh yes, I’ll be reading this one. It reminds me a bit of Megan Abbott’s book, YOU WILL KNOW ME, about gymnastics and parents and pressure. Can’t wait to see how the story plays out!


  4. Paula Daly has been a favorite, must-read author ever since I read her first book, Just What Kind of Mother Are You? I had to go on to read every book since then.

    I have The Trophy Child, ready to read…as soon as I can. Probably next week. Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to read it!


    1. Like you I’ve read each one of this author’s books and they have all had me thoroughly entertained – Just What Kind of Mother are You? had me have a cooking disaster as I attempted to do both at once – not a good idea 😉


  5. Starting with Verity certainly brings out the idea that she is not the doted on child and has some serious difficulties. The whole concept is intriguing. I had to look up “helicopter parents” in several places before I came up with how it came into being — really fascinating. This doesn’t sound like a happy book but very intriguing. I hope you’re enjoying it. Here’s my link for today:


  6. Such an inviting cover. I’m always drawn to ones similar to this. Opening the book is like opening a door into someone’s life. This sounds interesting and I like that the author chose to feature the second child.


  7. I guess sometimes a parent has regrets about certain things she didn’t do during the first child. There is pressure on us to have success children who can amaze others with their skills.


  8. I like the intro! From the blurb, she sounds more like that tiger mom than a helicopter parent, but maybe the blurb is misleading. I would read this one. I agree with Stefanie’s comment about the pressures on parents to raise successful kids. I only have one child, but there are definitely things I would have done differently had I been able to have another. Karen seems to have taken things to the extreme, but her story sounds like an interesting one and in some ways relatable.


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