First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a weekly meme hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. The idea is to share the first paragraph or two of a book I am currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.
This week I'm featuring the opening paragraphs of Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, a novel I'm reading for an upcoming book club meeting that I recently borrowed from my public library.
Published by HarperCollins, 2012
The Dying Actress
Porto Vergogna, Italy
"The dying actress arrived in his village the only way one could come directly--in a boat that motored into the cove, lurched past the rock jetty, and bumped against the end of the pier. She wavered a moment in the boat's stern, then extended a slender hand to grip the mahogany railing; with the other, she pressed a wide-brimmed hat against her head. All around her, shards of sunlight broke on the flickering waves.
Twenty meters away, Pasquale Tursi watched the arrival of the woman as if in a dream. Or rather, he would think later, a dream's opposite: a burst of clarity after a lifetime of sleep. Pasquale straightened and stopped what he was doing, what he was usually doing that spring, trying to construct a beach below his family's empty pensione. Chest-deep in the cold Ligurian Sea, Pasquale was tossing rocks the size of cats in an attempt to fortify the breakwater, to keep the waves from hauling away his little mound of construction sand. Pasquale's 'beach' was only as wide as two fishing boats, and the ground beneath his dusting of sand was scalloped rock, but it was the closest thing to a flat piece of shoreline in the entire village: a rumor of a town that had ironically--or perhaps hopefully--been designated Porto despite the fact that the only boats to come in and out regularly belonged to the village's handful of sardine and anchovy fishermen. The rest of the name, Vergogna, meant shame, and was a remnant from the founding of the village in the seventeenth century as a place for sailors and fishers to find women of . . . a certain moral and commercial flexibility."
What do you think? Would you keep reading? This book has received lots of accolades since its publication. I am enjoying it thus far, and think it is well-suited for a book club discussion.
Teaser Tuesdays, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading, is a weekly event where bloggers open to a random page of their current reads and share a teaser from somewhere on that page--no spoilers allowed.
Here's my teaser from Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter:
"In that doomed final month of the marriage--in what felt like a live autopsy of his manhood--Saundra tried to make him feel 'better' by insisting it wasn't entirely his fault; he was part of a ruined generation of young men coddled by their parents--by their mothers especially--raised on unearned self-esteem, in a bubble of overaffection, in a sad incubator of phony achievement."
--p. 156, Large Print Edition
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First Chapter ~ First Paragraph #7 and Tuesday Teaser was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com. This post cannot be republished without express written consent.