Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (February 20)

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Vicky from I’d Rather Be At The Beach who 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 my opener comes from another book that is waiting patiently on my TBR; And The Birds Kept On Singing by Simon Bourke.


Pregnant at seventeen, Sinéad McLoughlin does the only thing she can; she runs away from home. She will go to England and put her child up for adoption. But when she lays eyes on it for the first time, lays eyes on him, she knows she can never let him go.

Just one problem. He’s already been promised to someone else.

A tale of love and loss, remorse and redemption, And The Birds Kept On Singing tells two stories, both about the same boy. In one Sinéad keeps her son and returns home to her parents, to nineteen-eighties Ireland and life as a single mother. In the other she gives him away, to the Philliskirks, Malcolm and Margaret, knowing that they can give him the kind of life she never could.

As her son progresses through childhood and becomes a young man, Sinéad is forced to face the consequences of her decision. Did she do the right thing? Should she have kept him, or given him away? And will she spend the rest of her life regretting the choices she has made? Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Manchester, 1984

“This is not the kind of thing you should face alone, love. Is there someone you could ring? A friend?”
The nurse scanned the patient’s face in search of an answer, but was met with the same blank expression the girl had worn since admission.
“No one?”
A slight shake of the head, a mumbled response, and then back to staring out the window.
“Very well,” the nurse muttered, scurrying off to find someone more worthy of her attention.

I just realised quite how rare it is for a book to launch straight in with dialogue. I’ve read many great reviews of this book and so, despite being warned there may be tears involved, I’m looking forward to finding out how the two stories end up for myself.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?


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

38 thoughts on “First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (February 20)

  1. This is a strong beginning, Cleo. And the blurb makes it sound like a very absorbing, even powerful, book. I’d want to know what happens, definitely!


    1. I’m looking forward to how the two stories are separated which I think is probably the underpinning choice that determines whether it works for the reader or not – fortunately bloggers I trust have confirmed that it worked for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So it tells the story one way and then the other? Like a Sliding Doors kind of thing? I actually like that plot device when I’ve encountered it. Regardless, this sounds like a good story. I’m an adopted child and these stories are interesting to ponder – what if? Though in my case, I know that I got the best parents ever. 🙂


  3. OMG Cleo! If I want my heart wrenched out of my chest, then I will be sure to read on.
    Seriously though, it does sound a wonderful read – just one you’d have to be in the mood for as it will be a tear-jerker for sure.


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