Favourite Opening Lines

By the time that we finish reading most books, the opening lines have already vanished from our memory. A selected few, however, linger on, long after we close the books and start new ones. They remain forever imprinted in our mind. My favourites are long and short, summarise the premise of the book or just leave readers wondering. There’s not a specific characteristic that distinguishes all of them.

 

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

 

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 

“Aqui o mar acaba e a terra principia.”

“Here the sea ends and the earth begins.”

O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis (The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis) by José Saramago

 

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

 

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

 

What are your favourite opening lines? Tell me in the comments!

One thought on “Favourite Opening Lines

  1. robinandian2013 says:

    My favourite opening line is from The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne.
    ‘Long before we discovered that he had fathered two children by two different mothers, ….Father James Monroe stood on the altar of the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the parish of Goleen, and denounced my mother as a whore.’

    Liked by 1 person

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