First Lines for August

August is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So I thought it fitting that I feature novels set in or about World War II in the First Lines for August post. Based on these first lines alone, would you buy the book?

Illustration of a palm tree on one page of an open book. Under the palm tree a treasure chest and pirate. On the other page the pirate's ship. First lines for August might make images in your mind.

At dusk they pour from the sky. 

All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

Carla knew her parents were about to have a row.

Winter of the World, Ken Follet
cover of Ken Follett's book Winter of the World

The man at the end of the long table—he wore a trimmed black beard streaked white at the ends of his mouth—looked up at the wall clock: three minutes past seven.

Prologue, From Time to Time, Jack Finney

We stood bunched in with the little crowd you can see on the balcony down there at the right—see it?—just over the pillared entrance to the Everett House: Julia and I, her hands in her muff; and our four-year-old son, chin on the balcony rail.

Chapter One, From Time to Time, Jack Finney

SS-Sturmbannfürer Gunther Dettmer had been dreaming of this day since his childhood.  

The Heroes of Sainte-Mère-Église, J.D. Keene

Once Harry made a decision, he rarely looked back.

Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds, Pamela Rotner Sakamoto

Mas Arai worried that the customs officer at Kansai Airport would find his best friend, Haruo Mukai, inside his suitcase.

Hiroshima Boy, Naomi Hirahara

Heavens! Already five o’clock. How time flies! I’ll never get the fusuma put up, or the bedcover stitched, before our new lodger arrives.

The Flowers of Hiroshima, Edita Morris

Yes, the last one has more than the first sentence because the first sentence is so short. And because that book will appear on this blog again. Next time it will be reviewed.

Happy Reading!

Tell, me which ones peaked your interest?

Do you like prologues? Do you read them?

Which ones did you also read the blurb?

If you like reading first lines, you might like Will You Buy These Books Based on the First Lines? and why some first lines work.

A novel’s first line is a powerful thing. A well written line can suck the reader in. A poorly written one can convince the reader to give the book a pass. Are there books you’ve purchased or read simply because of a great first line? Are there any of the First Lines for August that tempted you to buy the book?

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