Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (August 7)

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 I’m sharing the opening paragraph of Flying Shoes by Lisa Howorth which was given to me for my birthday and graces my 20 Books of Summer 2018 challenge list.


Thirty years ago, on Mother’s Day, Mary Byrd Thornton’s nine-year-old stepbrother was murdered. His killer was never found. At the time, Mary Byrd had been fifteen: in love and caught up in the excitement of the Sixties, but when Stevie died, her family and her life fell apart.

For years she has struggled with the knowledge that the murderer is still out there, as well as her own nagging guilt over Stevie’s death. Yet she has built a life for herself in Mississippi: she has married a Southern gentleman and has two children she adores. With her ramshackle house, her teeming garden and her menagerie of animals, she is immersed in a comfortable, if somewhat eccentric and occasionally restless day-to-day existence.

When a journalist chances upon the mystery of Stevie’s death and begins to dig into it, Mary Byrd suddenly finds herself on a reluctant journey back to her childhood home in Virginia. Along the way she encounters help from unexpected quarters and finds herself confronting not only her family’s story but the stories of many others – both the living and the dead.Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro


Mary Byrd Thornton knew that breaking things was not a good, adult response to getting sudden scary news about a terrible thing in the past, a thing buried with the dead and kicked to the curb of consciousness; but that was what she had done anyway.

She’d been unloading the dishwasher, killing time until school let out and half-listening to NPR. The IRA had broken a truce and bombed London, unwanted rape-babies-“enfants mauvais souvenir,” NPR called them – from the massacres in Rwanda over the past two years were abandoned and dying, some scientist was predicting global chaos, calling it Y2K – planes would be falling from the sky and subway trains colliding in the year 2000. Basically it was the usual news; what she and her brothers called every new day’s headlines; More Dead Everywhere. It always seemed like the world was a kitchen full of leaking gas, just waiting for the careless match.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I know that was two paragraphs but I do like the tenor of this opening and I think the second paragraph sets the time period very neatly. I remember the anxiety over Y2K as if it were yesterday!

So what do you think? Would you keep reading?


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

30 thoughts on “First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (August 7)

  1. That opening certainly got my attention, Cleo. And that’s an intriguing premise. As you know, I do like books where past influences present. I look forward to your thoughts on this when you’ve finished it.


  2. Oh, yes, I like the sound of this one and also remember that time and the ‘possible’ horrors that might come. Nice pick, Cleo! Enjoy!


  3. Oh, yes, the time period takes us back, doesn’t it? I remember the panic over Y2K…and then, who knew, only a year later, another kind of disaster would come to the US (9/11).

    I like the sound of this book, and want to know Mary’s secrets. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.


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