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

‘Relative Fortunes’
by Marlowe Benn
Book Beginnings
First Lines

image of a woman sat reading by an open window - caption reads 'will these first few lines capture our imagination' - used as the image for Book Beginnings / First Lines, posts

For all you ‘First Page Browsers’

Cover image of the book 'Relative Fortunes' by the author Marlowe Benn



” Two bankers – one gray and stout, the other pink and merely soft about the jowls – conferred in low voices outside the office door, flicking pained glances through the window’s gold lettering. Julia smoothed the gloves across her knee to feign indifference and watched from the shadows of her hat brim. It mattered to her what the men said, and also that they not realize how much.

They stepped back into the room, closing the door with a solemn click. The older man sat in the remaining client chair, beside Julia. She was flanked.

‘It’s a privilege to meet you at least, Miss Kydd,’ the older man said. ‘I remember your father well, and of course your brother has been a valued client for years. This bank and the Kydd family have enjoyed a long and cordial relationship, as you know.’

She blanched at talk of satisfied generations. Trouble, then.

‘Naturally we’d like to help,’ he went on, stroking his jaw as if to coax forth a kinder way to phrase what must follow, ‘but I’m afraid what you ask is impossible. While it’s true the account is registered in your name and technically the money is yours, the terms of the trust prohibit release of funds to anyone other than the trustee or his assigned proxies. Not even to you.’ He forced a cough. ‘Particularly not to you. That’s rather the point of a trust, after all.’

Julia re-crossed her legs. She pointed out that she was no longer a child. In less than three weeks, her twenty-fifth birthday would render the issue moot. ‘I’ve lived independently in London for some time now and am quite capable of managing my own funds. If Philip were available, I’m sure he’d authorize this, but he’s not, and frankly I’m in a bit of a pinch.’ “

So, you have taken a look, will you read the book?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Just to give you an extra helping hand, here is the book’s premise …

RELATIVE FORTUNES – (Julia Kydd – Book #1)

Cover image of the book 'Relative Fortunes' by the author Marlowe BennIn 1920s New York, the price of a woman’s independence can be exorbitant—even fatal.

In 1924 Manhattan, women’s suffrage is old news. For sophisticated booklover Julia Kydd, life’s too short for politics. With her cropped hair and penchant for independent living, Julia wants only to launch her own new private press. But as a woman, Julia must fight for what’s hers—including the inheritance her estranged half brother, Philip, has challenged, putting her aspirations in jeopardy.

When her friend’s sister, Naomi Rankin, dies suddenly of an apparent suicide, Julia is shocked at the wealthy family’s indifference toward the ardent suffragist’s death. Naomi chose poverty and hardship over a submissive marriage and a husband’s control of her money. Now, her death suggests the struggle was more than she could bear.

Julia, however, is skeptical. Doubtful of her suspicions, Philip proposes a glib wager: if Julia can prove Naomi was in fact murdered, he’ll drop his claims to her wealth. Julia soon discovers Naomi’s life was as turbulent and enigmatic as her death. And as she gets closer to the truth, Julia sees there’s much more at stake than her inheritance…


Image of author Marlowe Benn - image credit to Keith BrofskyBorn near Boston, Marlowe grew up in an Illinois college town along the Mississippi River.

She holds a master’s degree in the book arts from the University of Alabama and a doctorate in the history of books from the University of California, Berkeley.

A former editor, college teacher, and letterpress printer, Marlowe lives with her husband on an island near Seattle.

Visit Marlowe at her website

Follow Marlowe on Twitter

Check in with Marlowe on Facebook

“I think writer’s block comes from setting your expectations too high. Think of athletes or musicians, who practice daily for untold hours just to develop skills and then maintain and polish them. If you think of writing in the same way, as practice more than performance, the pressure’s off. Let it flow and see what happens.”

“Everyone says it’s important to not get discouraged, and they’re right. But be smart about it. Most of all, take yourself seriously. That means always be willing to step back and reflect on or learn from the discouraging signals. In other words, the “no’s” or passes are trying to teach you something. Be strong, be brave. Listen and learn, and then make your work better.”

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You might also like to visit Gilion, over at ‘Rose City Reader‘, where you can share links to the book beginnings from her own reading schedule and that of many of our fellow bloggers. There are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Written by

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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Written by Yvonne