Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

In 2021

First Lines

    1. It is the absolute shittiest day for a walk.
    2. There is a narrow street in Paris named Rue Gît-le-Cœur.
    3. Morning light blasts through the woods, making me squint.
    4. ‘What a beautiful Easter day,’ Grand Prince Dimitri Sergeyevich Markhov commented.
    5. There was once a rich merchant who lived at the edge of the woods, in a tiny town in the Hinterland.
    6. A blade flashed, kindled bright by moonshine.
    7. The first time our father brought Andrea to the Dutch House, Sandy, our housekeeper, came to my sister’s room and told us to come downstairs.
    8. Rosalyn had endured disappointing birthdays before, but never one in ankle-deep corpse sludge.
    9. He is coming on the Lord’s Day.
    10. If you do not believe in evil, you are doomed to live in a world you will never understand.
    11. When you’re a child, you think that your parents are the same as everyone else’s and that what happens in your house happens in other people’s homes too.
    12. It’s a quiet, lovely day, like every day in Three Graces, except one of the horses is sick.
    13. No recipe for hygge is complete without candles.
    14. I woke to the promise of a storm.
    15. What’s a little girl like you doing so close to the front lines?
    16. This water is fierce.
    17. From the moment of his election as president on November 6, 1860, Lincoln confronted issues of policy and strategy even though he would not take office for almost four months.
    18. Miles, Lord Marshall, had never wanted to come down here in the first place.
    19. He’s a dead thing.
    20. I love the goblin market.
    21. And to think — Primrose tried not to be grim — that only a few moments ago I felt misled by the claim that this is the biggest wheystation in the South Pacific.
    22. You’re not going to believe me.
    23. Sparks of magic drift through the inn walls, chased by moonlight and shadows.
    24. I like to imagine there were more of us in the beginning.
    25. When they asked her about the Vanderbilts and Belmonts, about their celebrations and depredations, the mansions and balls, the lawsuits, the betrayals, the rifts — when they asked why she did the extreme things she’d done, Alva said it all began quite simply: Once there was a desperate young woman whose mother was dead and whose father was dying almost as quickly as his money was running out.
    26. It’s rare that a story begins at the beginning.
    27. The bus depot in Denver smells like gasoline and asphalt, unwashed bodies and stale coffee.
    28. Havenfall is my home.
    29. War has often been called a game, with good reason.
    30. Wren had never seen a worse radial fracture.
    31. The knock of a pulley hitting the deck made me blink, and suddenly the white-washed world around me came rushing back.
    32. The gentleman in seat 2D was in medical distress when he boarded, the flight attendant is sure of it.
    33. Looking down at the boy strapped to the metal table before her, Kiva Meridan leaned in close and whispered, ‘Take a deep breath.’
    34. Dylan was six hours old when I noticed a mark behind his left ear the size of a thumbprint.
    35. That September of 1901, four years after Ilmari left for America, both for its opportunity and the fear of being drafted into the Russian army, the district was still without a teacher.
    36. I’ve always considered myself to be, basically, a lucky person.
    37. ‘How are things going at school, Declan?’ I asked.
    38. ‘Ophelia, if it was your last day on earth and you wanted to dress for the occasion, would you wear the potentially-too-short black dress or the hilarious Zelda T-shirt of an ocarina that says ‘Make It Rain’?’
    39. “Seated opposite me in the railway carriage, the elderly lady in the fox-fur shawl was recalling some of the murders that she had committed over the years.”
    40. “I think you’re the one I spoke to on the phone, the librarian with a voice so soft that I went out and bought myself a cashmere sweater.”