Book Beginnings on Fridays is hosted by Rose City Reader and as she says the idea of this meme is
for you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book
you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the
sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the
opener inspires. Please remember to include the title
of the book and the author's name. There's a linky list on
the website and you can use #BookBeginnings on Twitter.
My book beginning is Film Starts Don't Die in Liverpool. I saw the film a few weeks ago and enjoyed it so wanted to read the non-fiction book it was based on as soon as I could get hold of a copy from the library.
I didn't know she was sick until she went to Lancaster. There had been the usual fanfare of publicity with the same slogan written on the billboards, only with the place name changed:
'The girl who can't say "No" says "Yes" to Illinois'; or 'The girl who can't say "No" says "Yes" to East Hampton.' This time it was Lancaster, England.
On 29 September 1981,
Peter Turner received a phone call that would change his life. His
former lover, Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame, had collapsed in a
Lancaster hotel and was refusing medical attention. He had no choice but
to take her into his chaotic and often eccentric family's home in
Liverpool born and bred, Turner had first set eyes on
Grahame when he was a young actor, living in London. Best known for her
portrayal of irresistible femme fatales in films such as The Big Heat, Oklahoma and The Bad and the Beautiful,
for which she won an Oscar, Grahame electrified audiences with her
steely expressions and heavy lidded eyes and the heroines she bought to
life were often dark and dangerous. Turner and Grahame became firm
friends and remained so ever after their love affair had ended. And it
was to him she turned in her final hour of need.
From a low and Quiet Sea tells us the stories of three men. Farouk is an immigrant who has risked everything and suffered a lot to escape from Syria and make a life for himself in Ireland. Lampy is a heartbroken young man still living at home with his mother and grandfather and finally we meet John. He was greatly affected by the death of his brother when he was still a child but has gone on the be very successful, we are also told about an affair he had. They are given a section of the novel each rather than their stories being interwoven throughout. However in the fourth and final part of the novel we learn what links them together.
What I love about Donal Ryan's work is his ability to tell us so much about his characters in very few pages, they are well developed and convincingly brought to life, not a word is wasted. Having said this I did struggle to connect with John a lot more than the others although this may well be down to me as I've been in a reading lull of late.
From a Low and Quiet Sea is definitely worth a read if you enjoy well written, intelligent fiction. If you haven't tried any of the authors previous work then perhaps read one of his first two novels before giving this a go, links to my reviews of those are below: