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.
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?