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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘A Place For Us’ Part One by Harriet Evans

I love these opening lines. They are strong, well defined and set a scene of intrigue right from the word go!

I can relate to Martha being a morning person … I am generally up before 5am and use those first few minutes of the day, to enjoy the peace and solitude of some quality reading time! … Oh! a hot black coffee is also an unspoken requirement!

If these lines make you want to read on, you can find out more about both book and author, here ..


August 2012

The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day.

She woke early. She always did, but lately she couldn’t sleep. This summer sometimes she’d been up and dressed by five: too much to think about. No point lying in bed, fretting.

On this particular morning she was awake at four thirty. As her eyes flew open, and memory flooded her body, Martha knew her subconscious must understand the enormity of what she was about to do …


A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City ReaderWould the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?

Click here and visit Gilion @ Rose City Reader

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Gilion and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time?

I can’t wait to do a little blog hopping myself and check out all the great Book Beginnings you have!


As this was a Goodreads, First Reads, Giveaway competition, my win was a complimentary paperback copy of the book.

 This will in no way influence any comments I may express about the book, in any blog article I may post. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.



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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • Those first lines made me think back 42 years to the August day in 1973 when my husband and I told our three children we were splitting up. I don’t remember anything other than their reaction. Morning? I have no idea when or how I woke that day, not that it really matters. I am relatively sure I didn’t wake at 4:30 in the morning, though. Now I’m curious about what Martha Winter did that day. Good beginning.

    • Hi Bonnie,

      Thanks for stopping by today. I love ‘meeting’ new people and will always welcome and appreciate your visits and comments.

      It’s strange, how in a time of emotional crisis, we can remember the silliest and smallest of details, yet many of the most important thoughts, words and deeds are seemingly wiped from our memories!

      I wasn’t quite sure how much to include in this opening extract, as the next few lines are just as intriguing and thought provoking, I am prepared to give away the fact that her husband seems very much alive and around the place … although not right now!!

      Have a great weekend.

    • Hi Sofia,

      Thank you for stopping by today. I like to ‘meet’ new people and I always appreciate any comments I receive.

      I must admit, the synopsis on the back cover of this paperback edition, didn’t really give anything away, so those first few lines definitely had the desired impact on me, although I did manage to resist the urge to simply keep on reading!!

      Have a good weekend.

  • Ooh I actually have this one on my Kindle but haven’t started reading it yet, no idea why. This beginning definitely makes me want to! I’m the total opposite of a morning person although if I have to get up early it’s no problem as long as there’s coffee involved! I just prefer being a nocturnal person! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I hope you have a great weekend!
    Friday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

    • Hi Juli,

      I wonder if, like me, you are holding back because this book is being released in four installments, with this, Part One, having a mere 131 printed pages. I am desperately hoping that this installment will work okay as a stand alone short story, especially after those pretty full on opening lines!

      You would get on well with my husband, who, like yourself, can quite happily get up early on a morning if he has to, but will quite easily stay up into the early hours of the morning, when I am tucked up safely in bed! I think my regime of being in bed by about 11.30pm, then getting up about 4.30am, is a throwback to the days when I worked some pretty unsociable hours and is now a habit I don’t seem able to break!

      Thanks for stopping by and for your interesting contribution to the conversation. Have a good weekend and ‘Happy Reading’

    • Hi Katherine

      When Martha makes a conscious decision to tear her family apart, one would assume that she is also ready for the consequences of her actions and knows what kind of reaction to expect from everyone, so that also makes her quite brave in my eyes.

      I don’t usually lie awake for too long in the mornings, I generally like to be up and about straight away and by nighttime it is about all I can do to crawl into bed before I fall asleep. Too much time to sit and think isn’t good for me!

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I appreciate your comments.

    • Hi Lorraine,

      It does sound as though Martha has been building up to whatever she has planned, for some time! It also seems to be the case that she has been bottling up quite a lot of emotion, which is about to boil over!

      Thanks for stopping by today and for adding me to your friends on Goodreads. I look forward to keeping up to date with what is happening in your world of books. Have a great weekend.

  • Fretting …. now there’s a word I haven’t seen used in a while.

    Intrigued by that first sentence, I want to know why and how Martha decided to tear apart her family.

    ‘Norm knew it was going to be one of those days when he woke up and found himself about to pee in his dad’s wardrobe.’
    -The World Of Norm: May Contain Nuts by Jonathan Meres. (I should point out this is a children’s book).

    • Hi Tracy,

      Apparently fretting is indeed an old word, with its origins dating right back to the 1300s. It is one of those difficult to describe words which has multiple meanings, although as you say, a word which I don’t hear used very much these days!

      I should think fretting is quite an apt word in Martha’s case, as I would have thought that if you were planning to tear an entire family apart, you would be feeling some distress about it. Surely it would take quite a big event to bring about such destruction and Martha would be worried that she has planned everything correctly.

      Whilst I probably wouldn’t read the book you featured this week, those opening lines had me chucklng to myself and needing to know what is going on in Norm’s life. The series looks amazing and the cover art stunning. I am left still wondering what age Norm might be, that he already feels that life is so unfair on him!

      Thanks for sharing your lines and I hope that you have a good weekend.

  • What on earth is Martha about to do?! Your opener is definitely one that grabs and makes you want to read on! I’m definitely going to have to check out the premise of this book. While I do like mornings, I’m not as much of an early bird as you or Martha. 😉

    I should easily finish To See the Moon Again by Jamie Langston Turner today. Here are the opening lines:

    “On the last day of the spring term, Julia Rich was heading home in her big blue boat of a Buick along the familiar route she could have driven blindfolded. As she neared Ivy Dale Lane, where she lived, she once again reminded herself of two things. First, that many other professors worldwide not only had endured what she was facing but had actually enjoyed it and, second, that most of her current colleagues would gladly trade places with her right now. Neither of these reminders, however, helped to settle her mind.”

    • Hi Kelly,

      I don’t know how much influence the author has over the synopsis for their book, however someone has done a great job with ‘A Place For Us’. The synopsis sets the scene, yet gives nothing tangible away to spoil the enjoyment of the read …. A rarity these days!

      Mornings are definitely the best time of the day for me, so long as I am not obliged to do anything without a large mug of black coffee and a bowl of meusli inside me … Oh! and of course, at least half an hours uninterrupted time with my latest book!

      See! you had me completely fooled with those opening lines. I assumed they would be in some way linked to the rather revealing spoiler in the synopsis, but it turns out that there must be something else happening here, which is completely separate. Now I am totally at a loss to know what is going on and what it is that Julia is supposed to be enjoying.

      It sounds as though you might be enjoying this story, I do hope that you decide to review!

      Have a good weekend and thanks for the correction to the text, although it is but a trifle, compared to some of the bloomers I have made and not noticed until it was too late to correct and I had hit the ‘send’ button!

    • Hi Lisa,

      This seems to be a premeditated decision on Martha’s part, so I am assuming that she is psyching herself up for the flack which is about to come her way.

      Perhaps she is going to tell the family that she is ill, although I am not so sure that would tear them apart.

      I can’t wait to find out!

      I hope that your weekend is going well so far and thanks for stopping by.

    • Hi Jo,

      I think that the line:

      “The day Martha Winter decided to tear apart her family began like any other day.”

      Is in itself so intense and intriguing, that you can’t fail to want to know what this momentous piece of news or action is.

      This is one of the best first lines I have had in a while, looking forward to turning the next page…

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      You have no idea just how tempted I was to read on just a little further, to see if I could find out what Martha has in mind for the day.

      I was a bit worried that I would have to read on so far to find out, that it wouldn’t be worthwhile stopping, so I have closed the book and put it back in the review pile where it belongs, ready for a later date!

      Thanks for stopping by, it is good to hear from you and I hope that you are keeping well.

  • I love early weekend mornings when the house is still quiet and I cuddle up with my cup of coffee and my book. Fantastic.
    I wonder what Martha is about to do then?
    Enjoy it!

    • Hi Naida,

      Weekends usually only count as a Sunday morning in our house, but I know what you mean! I generally manage to slip out of bed without waking Dave and know that I then have as much time as I want to myself, before waking him with a cup of tea …. he hates coffee!

      Martha’s plans are the best kept secret right now, although I was so tempted to flick through a couple more pages to see if I could find out what they were!

      The book is still a little way down my reading list, but I am looking forward to it!

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you are enjoying your weekend.

  • Those are intriguing opening lines.

    Here’s from Mr. Sammler’s Planet:

    “Shortly after dawn, or what would have been dawn in a normal sky, Mr. Artur Sammler with his bushy eye took in the books and papers of his West Side bedroom and suspected strongly that they were the wrong books, the wrong papers.”

    I don’t think he’s figured out what the “right ones” are or he’s likely decided that it’s too difficult to determine or maybe not the right question to ask…

    • Hi Hila,

      ‘A Place For Us’ promises to be quite an intriguing story, if those first lines are anything to go by. “Tearing a family apart”, sounds like quite a drastic, if not deperate feat to me, and one which has potentailly final and long-lasting consequences!

      Great opening lines from ‘Mr. Sammler’s Planet’, very intriguing! It is enough that, like yourself, I am left wondering why he should be so convinced that he has the wrong books and papers. However I also need to know why it wasn’t a normal sky.

      I did take some time to check out this book and indeed author, who I’m afraid is unknown to me. My knowledge of many of the classics, is sadly very lacking, despite my best endeavours to complete many of those on my reading list. I found this line from the Goodreads synopsis, particularly apt and thought provoking …

      “Sorry for all and sore at heart,” he observes how greater luxury and leisure have only led to more human suffering.

      Thanks for sharing this book and I hope that you have enjoyed your weekend.

Written by Yvonne