First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
- Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
- Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
- Finally… reveal the book!
The train crawled into Bealmouth and groaned to a halt. There was no clatter of doors as passengers disembarked from dark and lonely carriages. There was no quiet bustle of relatives meeting, or of young soldiers uttering last farewells. Here, on a grey spring evening, only one door opened at that desolate station. Only two wretched figures stepped down on to the platform.
Malaya, 1942. Nisha’s home is destroyed by war and she and her mother, Amma, flee to her father’s ancestral house in England, perched on a cliff top on the cold Northern coast. When Amma falls gravely ill, Nisha is left to face her formidable grandmother alone.
Grandmother’s rules are countless, and her Anglo-Indian granddaughter is even forbidden from climbing the old weeping tree. But when a ghost child beckons Nisha to sit under its boughs, and promises her Amma’s life in return for three truths, its pull proves irresistible…
A thrilling historical ghost story; full of adventure, grief, guilt, forgiveness and belonging A fresh angle on a wartime story: the prejudice Nisha faces as a refugee feels particularly relevant today.
Have you read this? What did you think?