Every once in a while a book comes along that enchants you from the very first line. I picked up In Sunlight and In Shadow from St Mark’s Bookshop a few months ago, cracked open the disheveled cover, and fell headfirst into storytelling heaven. It was the second-person prologue that grabbed me, and the sense of mystery. It felt like magic, like something fantastic was about to happen. Love and magic jumped off the page and surrounded me as I read, or at least that’s what I immediately felt. This is why I am continuously in love with books:
If you were a spirit, and could fly and alight as you wished, and time did not bind you, and patience and love were all you knew, then you might rise to enter an open window high above the park, in the New York of almost a lifetime ago, early in November of 1947.
After reading that prologue, little over a page in length, I knew I was hooked. This book, a hefty 705, promises many of my favorite things: a romantic story, a masterful plot, magic, love, history, hope, fate, and the ability to transport the reader. I love to read stories, and I love to tell stories, but there’s nothing like that first line of an excellent novel, that first line that’s almost as exciting as a first smile on a first date. First lines (and first smiles) are all it takes to get me hooked.
What are your favorite first lines? Did the book live up to all your wildest expectations?