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.”
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
“Aqui o mar acaba e a terra principia.”
“Here the sea ends and the earth begins.”
“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.”
“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!