Friday, 4 October 2013

Book Beginnings on Fridays: House of Silence by Linda Gillard

I found Book Beginnings through a site called Jaffa Reads Too. It's is a kind of a linked Round Robin, sharing the first chapters of the book that you are currently reading. This clever idea is hosted by Rose City Reader.

This is how Book Beginnings on Fridays works in the words of Rose:

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

There is a a Mr Linky on Rose's site where you can add your Friday Book Beginnings post onto the thread. You can also share this post (or/and your own) on Twitter with the hashtag  #BookBeginnings.

Book Beginnings on Friday really appeals to me because I'm a great believer in the first chapter of any book being a taste of what's to to come. It's a contract that the author makes with the reader.

'This is how the story is going to be; this is the style, setting and flavour of the novel'  

I'm averaging a book a week at the moment, so it makes great sense to share the beginning of the novel I'm reading each Friday.

My first book is House of Silence by Linda Gillard. This is how the novel starts:

A Beginning

Chapter One


I used to wonder if Alfie chose me because I was an orphan and an only child. Was that part of the attraction? I came unencumbered, with no family.

We were kindred spirits in a way. Detached, self-centred , yet both obsessed with the past. Our past. The difference was, I had no family and Alfie did. He had a family - a large one - but mostly he behaved as if he didn't, as if he wanted no part of them, however much they might want a piece of him.

I love this kind of retrospective beginning to a novel. The protagonist is writing about something which she has already experienced, but which still affects her deeply. From reading the blurb, I know this book is about Gwen's boyfriend's unusual family and their ramshackle Georgian home, which hides secrets that everyone, but most of all Alfie, want to forget. Even without knowing what the central story is, the reader will know from these first two paragraphs that this is a book about a troubled relationship, about a troubled past and about a troubled family. There's a darkness to the words, such as 'orphan', 'obsessed' 'past' and 'kindred spirits'. I cannot wait to read on!

House of Silence 
by Linda Gillard
Paperback copy £6.19


Tea norman said...

Beautiful writing, a "piece" of him caught my eye. Perhaps, he has good reason to run from them. I love the title.

Helena Halme said...

I agree, the writing is excellent. That 'piece of him' caught my eye too.

Helena Halme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

Beautifully written. ENJOY!!

Nice blog.

Silver's Reviews
My Book Beginnings

Gilion Dumas said...

Thanks for taking part in Book Beginnings! Welcome!

I am glad to find your blog. And I am following you on Twitter now. I'll go look up your book -- I like the cover a lot.

JC Jones said...

That opening goes with the title. Here is my post: Book Beginning at Mixed Book Bag

jaffareadstoo..... said...

Beautiful book - Linda Gillard is one of my favourite authors.
Have fun with Friday Book Beginings !!

Linda Gillard said...

Thanks, Helena, for featuring my novel HOUSE OF SILENCE. I spent *such* a long time crafting that opening page. I was pleased to hear someone appreciated it. ;-)

Helena Halme said...

Thanks Elizabeth and Gillion, this is just my kind of fun!

Linda, it's my pleasure!


Joanne Phillips said...

Hi Helena,
I love House of Silence too - Linda is one of my two favourite authors! - and this beginning is brilliant. What a great idea for a blog post - I'm going to join in :)

Helena Halme said...

Jo, It is a brilliant idea, isn't? I look forward to seeing your Book Beginnings on Friday post!