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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

First Chapter First Paragraph - The Witch Elm



I am linking up with Vicki @ I’d Rather Be At The Beach who hosts a meme every Tuesday to share the First Chapter First Paragraph or two of the book you are currently reading or plan to read soon.

After finishing my last audiobook, I was prepared to jump right into this week's book.  I've read all the books that Tana French has written up to this point (and enjoyed them).  All of those are in her loose series featuring the Dublin Murder Squad.  My book this week is her first standalone.  Here's the beginning of:




First Paragraph(s):

I've always considered myself to be, basically, a lucky person.  I don't mean I'm one of those people who pick multi-million-euro lotto numbers on a whim, or show up seconds too late for flights that go on to crash with no survivors.  I just mean that I managed to go through life without any of the standard misfortunes you hear about.  I wasn't abused as a kid, or bullied in school; my parents didn't split up or die or have addiction problems or even get into any but the most trivial arguments; none of my girlfriends ever cheated on me, at least as far as I know, or dumped me in traumatic ways; I never got hit by a car or caught anything worse than chicken pox or even had to wear braces.  Not that I spent much time thinking about this, but when it occurred to me, it was with a satisfying sense that everything was going exactly as it should. 
     And of course there was the Ivy House.  I don't think anyone could convince me, even now, that I was anything other than lucky to have the Ivy House.  I know it wasn't that simple, I know all the reasons in intimate, serrated detail; I can lay them out in a neat line, stark and runic as black twigs on snow, and stare at them till I almost convince myself; but all it takes is one whiff of the right smell--jasmine, lapsang souchong, a specific old-fashioned soap that I've never been able to identify--or one sideways shaft of afternoon light at a particular angle, and I'm lost, in thrall all over again.

Blurb:

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who's dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life - he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family's ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden - and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we're capable of, when we no longer know who we are.

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Have you read The Witch Elm or any of Tana French's other books?  What did you think?  Would you continue?

42 comments:

  1. This is the only Tana French book I haven't read and I'm hoping to read it some time soon. Can't wait to hear what you'll think of it.

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    1. Melody, it's different than the rest. That being said, French's books are always a little different. The police presence is not the same and the focus on 'regular' people rather than the cops.

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  2. Oh, I do like a bit of Tanya French, but have not read any in ages! This sounds brilliant!

    You can find my Tuesday post here! Have a lovely day.

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    1. I'm liking it so far. It's not a fast moving story, but I'm OK with that.

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  3. I have this one checked out right now....but the due date is fast approaching and I'm not sure I can get it done before then (it's kind of a chunkster).

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    1. It is a chunkster, but then this author's books are pretty long. I'm listening to it on audio and it 22 hours long.

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  4. On my list Kay! I do like what you shared thus far!
    Here's my pick:http://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/2019/01/first-chapter-first-paragraph-tuesday_22.html

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    1. Hope you get to try it if you think you might like it, Diane.

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  5. I've only read one of her books but would certainly like to read more. The first paragraph looks enticing...

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    1. I've read all her books and so was interested in how she would treat a standalone book. So far so good.

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  6. I should give Tana French another chance. I read one of her books and didn't like it at all, but this one sounds good. Thanks for stopping by Girl Who Reads.

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    1. Well, she's not for everyone. I know that when her first book came out many people didn't love it or even like it. I did, but we each have our favorites, right?

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  7. I liked the two books of hers that I read. I have seen this book a lot, in ads. The title was intriguing. I bet I would like it.

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    1. Yes, and the title is 'The Wych Elm' over across the pond. I find that interesting.

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  8. I've read one and would certainly like to read this one.

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  9. I have book one from this author, still unread; I want to read the whole series, but since this is a stand-alone, I may have to start here. I love the sound of it. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel, her series is sort of loosely connected. Some characters do repeat, but not all of them.

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  10. I've never read anything by this author, but I have wanted to for a long time. I'd definitely keep reading.

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    1. This might be a good one for you to try, Yvonne. :-)

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  11. I'd continue. Tana French is an amazing writer.

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    1. She is very good, Lark. I totally agree.

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  12. :-) I've read them all including this one Kay - enjoy!

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    1. Ah, did you write about this one - yes, I'm sure you did. I'll have to go and see what you thought about it.

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    2. I'm so silly, Cleo. You just wrote about it a couple of weeks ago.

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  13. I have this book on audio. I'm waiting for a big time slot to arrive to start reading this one as it is 22 hours long. I've read all of Tana French so far and really like them all. Audio is the best way to hear an Irish story.

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    1. It is a long one, Margot, and the narrator is OK-ish, but maybe not my favorite. I don't want to discourage you though and I've gotten used to his voice.

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  14. This sounds so, so good, Kay! Thanks for sharing it. I had goose bumps just reading the blurb and like the way the first paragraph is written. Another to add to the TBR list. :)

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    1. PS Glad to hear it's a standalone as I prefer those to a series. Now I definitely have to read it!

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    2. It's a long one, J.P., but Tana French's books are all fairly long. And, yes, this is her first standalone. It's different in many ways from her others.

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  15. I read the first one in her series and enjoyed though had issues with the end. The fact that this is a standalone really has me intrigued!

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    1. Yes, I think a lot of people didn't like the ending of her first book. I was OK with it, but understand.

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  16. Looking forward to this books. It is sitting on the stacks.

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    1. Hope you enjoy it when you can read it, Nise'!

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  17. I think you know that I loved her earlier books, but not the most recent two. I plan to wait and see how you like this once you're finished. So far, it's not calling out to me.

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    1. Eh, I'm unsure what you might think. It's a little slow moving and different than her earlier ones.

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  18. The first paragraphs sound intriguing. I have like books by French that I have read. So probably one day I will read it.

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    1. It's a long one, Tracy. And a bit different than her other books.

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  19. I haven’t read any of her books yet, but I will!

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    1. I'm liking this one well enough, but I think her Dublin police books are still my favorites.

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  20. Like you, I've read all of her books and I will definitely get to this one! I love her writing. This one sounds a bit more suspenseful than her other books doesn't it? Maybe it's the "witch" in the title that makes me think that.

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    1. Yes, that was my thought too. I'll be curious how you like it if you get to read it. My thoughts are 'live' today.

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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!