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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday - First Chapter - First Paragraph - The Crying Child



Each Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first part of a book that she is reading or thinking about reading.  This week I'm sharing the first few paragraphs of The Crying Child by Barbara Michaels.  See what you think:


   


     From the air, the island doesn't look big enough to land a plane on.  It's a pretty sight, from above, calling to mind all sorts of poetic images--an agate, shining brown and green, flung down in folds of sea-blue satin; a blog of variegated Play-Doh, left in a basin of water by a forgetful child; an oval braided rug on a green glass floor.
     Or a hand, in a brown-and-green mitten.  The hand is clenched into a fist, with a thumblike promontory jutting out on one side.  Across the broad end there is a range of hills that might be knuckles; at the other end, the land narrows down into a wrist-shaped peninsula.  There are beaches there, like fur trim on the cuff of a mitten; the rest of the island is thick with foliage, somber green pines and fir trees for the most part.  The house is surprisingly distinct from above.  The lighter green of the lawns and the gray outline of roofs and chimneys stand out amid the darkness of the pines.  The only other distinctive landmark is the cluster of buildings that make up the village, along the thumb promontory, and its harbor, which is formed by the junction of thumb and hand.
     And that's where the figure of speech fails.  You could compare the house to an oddly shaped ring, up on the knuckles of the hand, but the village doesn't suggest any analogy.  A diseased imagination might think of sores or warts; but there never was anything festering about St. Ives.  It was just a charming Maine town, and not even the events of that spring could make it anything else.  There was no lurking horror in the village.  It was in the house.


Blurb:

Joanne McMullen's fears for her sister's sanity have brought her to remote King's Island, Maine. Mary's grief over the loss of her child is threatening to send her over the edge—and her insistence that she has heard an eerie, childlike wailing in the woods fuels Joanne's anxiety. And now Mary's taken to disappearing at midnight in search of the source of the heartrending moans. But it's not just her sister's encroaching madness that is chilling Joanne's blood—it's her own. Because suddenly, impossibly, she also hears the crying child.


What are your thoughts?  Would you keep reading?

46 comments:

  1. I was caught up in the description, trying to envision the island, and then the final sentence grabbed me! Yes, I'd definitely keep reading.
    My Tuesday post features Nobody’s Cuter Than You.

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    1. It was a good last sentence wasn't it? But, after reading back over it, the description is rather long. LOL

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  2. I'm not enthralled with the opening, HOWEVER, it's by Barbara Michaels, so I'm sold right there.

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    1. Yes, it is Barbara Michaels and this is a reread for me. I think the description of the island is a little verbose. LOL

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  3. I like the cover, but that intro did not draw me in for some reason.

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    1. Understand. After reading back over it, I'm thinking that it was a little long and drawn out. :-)

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  4. I was on board by the fourth word - island!

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    1. Yes, an island is involved. One that has a ferry to it.

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  5. I like the cover and the beginning paragraph, yes it's overly descriptive but hey, it's Maine! I lived there for 5 1/2 years and it's gorgeous all over. I even lived on the coast so I'm partial to these stories. The blurb made me hesitate, a crying child who has passed, wow...mental illness or someone torturing her mental state? I've read Barbara Michaels and liked her way in the past, so if someone conveniently handed me this book I would read it for sure.

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    1. This is one that has a bit of the ghostly things thrown in. A reread for me. And I love the Maine setting.

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  6. I love the opening, but the blurb makes me think this might be a horror story and I tend to stay away from horror novels (they usually give me nightmares). Girl Who Reads

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    1. It's a little bit of a horror story. Not just terrible, but if you don't like the ghostly presence, you might not like this one.

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  7. You had me at the lovely descriptions that conjured up all kinds of emotions for me. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It is definitely descriptive, right? Maybe a little too long, but she was trying to give a feel for the place.

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  8. Sounds so sad, but I like the intro so I'd keep reading.

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    1. It's not really so sad. Creepy, yes.

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  9. Sounds like a moving read. I enjoyed the descriptive opening.

    Today I am featuring The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank.

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    1. It's pretty much a ghostie kind of story. Well, there are saddish parts, but more shivery parts.

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  10. I couldn't really get into the intro, but I hope you enjoy it!

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    1. It's a reread for me, so I shall. :-)

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  11. I love the opening! And the blurb sounds intriguing too. I'd definitely keep reading... looking forward to hearing if you think it lives up to its opening...

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    1. It does and gets even creepier.

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  12. This sounds very sad and a bit scary but I really love that opening, the descriptions are so evocative. Thanks for visiting my Tuesday post earlier https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/first-chapter-first-paragraph-may-26/

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    1. It's a ghost type story, with a little romance and a beautiful setting.

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  13. Wow, that's really kind of sad, just like the others commenting have said. There's something about books like this, with children, that somehow really give me the willies - no offense to little children, of course. I might have to remember this one for the future.

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    1. Yes, this one might give you the willies for sure. It's not horror, but is a ghost type story.

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  14. From that title I was expecting something completely different and then the first paragraph was so beautiful, but then everything changed... this sounds like an amazing read (you always pick amazing ones!). I really want to know more about what happens and I'd definitely keep reading! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week and that I see you at ABEA!
    My Tuesday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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    1. Thanks, Juli! It's a reread for me - read it way, way back. A little romance, a little supernatural, and a great setting.

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  15. I don't need to reread the opening to know I would keep reading this one. This is one of my favorites! The beginning is a bit wordy but once the story gets going it's hard to put down!

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    1. Yes, you were the one that encouraged me to try this one again instead of the one set in Chicago. Looking forward to getting into it right after my current read. And it was a little wordy. I wanted to get to the 'house' part, but couldn't figure out where to begin the teaser without seeming at an odd place.

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  16. I'd keep reading. I want to know what happens with the sisters. Thanks for sharing it and coming by My Teaser.

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    1. It's a good one if you get a chance to read it, Laura.

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    1. I read it for the first time long ago and I still love this author's books.

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  18. I love that descriptive opening, and would definitely read the book. I've liked her books that I've read so far.

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    1. I enjoyed most of her books. Her focus kind of changed as time went on - less of the quasi-supernatural and more of the romantic suspense.

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  19. I love all the beautiful descriptions in those opening paragraphs. The place sounds lovely. Is this the same Barbara Michaeld that is a husband/wife writing team? I haven't read one of their books in, probably, two decades. I used to just love their books.

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    1. Margot, I think you are remembering Judith Michael. Had to think a bit to remember that author. It was a husband and wife team and I read a few of their books many years ago. Don't think they are still writing. This is Barbara Michaels, who is also Elizabeth Peters of the Amelia Peabody mystery series. I read this author's books for the first time long ago - really long ago - like in the '70's and '80's.

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  20. Oh no! I was going to say I'd give it a try, then I read the comments about the creepy! Now I am reluctant. I may do some more research and put in on my list of "maybes". Thanks for sharing though.

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    1. If you don't like a little ghostie scary, you might want to try another book by this author. Or maybe her Amelia Peabody mystery series, which she wrote her other name, Elizabeth Peters. Thanks for coming by!

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  21. I would definitely keep reading. This sounds wonderful.

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    1. I've enjoyed it in the past and will again, I'm sure.

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  22. I would keep reading it. Intriguing!

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    1. Have you not read this one? You should. :-)

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  23. I love the opening, and I'm always interested in a story set in Maine, and on an island--even better. This looks like a book I'd enjoy!

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    1. It's got a touch of romance and a touch of mystery and a touch of supernatural. All good!

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!