Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (November 6)

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.

My opener this week has been chosen from what for me has been a long awaited book; The Wych Elm by Tana French.


‘For me it all goes back to that night, the dark corroded hinge between before and after, the slipped-in sheet of trick glass that tints everything on one side in its own murky colours and leaves everything on the other luminous and untouchable.’

One night changes everything for Toby. He’s always led a charmed life – until a brutal attack leaves him damaged and traumatised, unsure even of the person he used to be. He seeks refuge at his family’s ancestral home, the Ivy House, filled with memories of wild-strawberry summers and teenage parties with his cousins.

But not long after Toby’s arrival, a discovery is made: a skull, tucked neatly inside the old wych elm in the garden.

As detectives begin to close in, Toby is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about his family, his past, and himself. Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro


I’ve always considered myself to be, basically a lucky person. I don’t mean I’m one of those people who pick multi-million-euro lotto numbers on a whim, or show up seconds too late for flights that go on to crash with no survivors. I just mean that I managed to go through life without any of the standard misfortunes you hear about. I wasn’t abused as a kid, or bullied in school; my parents didn’t split up or die or have any addiction problems or even get into any but the most trivial arguments; none of my girlfriends ever cheated on me, at least as far as I know, or dumped me in traumatic ways; I never got hit by a car or caught anything worse than chicken pox or even had to wear braces. Not that I spent much time thinking about this, but when it occurred to me, it was with a satisfying sense that everything was going exactly as it should.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well I was already looking forward to this one but opening the cover and remembering just how quickly Tana French can grab my attention, even when scene-setting, merely underlined the point for me.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?


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

35 thoughts on “First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (November 6)

  1. Reading the paragraph on its own, it doesn’t come across as instantly compelling but reading it in conjunction with the blurb, you know everything’s about to change and that does create a sense of dread. (However, Miss Picky wonders about the need for that ‘basically’ in the first sentence.)


    1. I’ve just commented on someone else’s post that I honestly can’t always pick the winning books from the opening paragraph but I can generally tell if I’m not going to enjoy a book fairly early on – I’d let the author know about the superfluous word 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is on my reserves list at the library and, I can’t wait – funny thing is the cover on yours — Our title it “Witch Elm”.


    1. I was flicking between the US and UK covers on Amazon as I was trying to work out when the various editions were being published – it all seems back to front here in the UK but I’m just relieved we’ve finally made it to a date – the title has been on my wishlist for an absolute age!


  3. Oh, I want to read this one very much, Cleo! Tana French is so talented, isn’t she? I’m really looking forward to this, and I hope you’ll like it, too.


  4. Tana French is always a yes for me. I have this on audio to listen to in upcoming weeks. Interesting about the title spelling, ‘Wych’ and ‘Witch’. Is there a different meaning?


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