Tuesday, February 17, 2015

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph #94

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . .


First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.

Today I'm featuring the opening from a book I borrowed from the library . . .

The Weight of Blood
The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

Reader's Advisory: The opening paragraph of the novel is graphic and gory.

Chapter 1

That Cheri Stoddard was found at all was the thing that set people on edge, even more so than the condition of her body.  One Saturday in March, fog crept through the river valley and froze overnight.  The morning sun crackled over a ghostly landscape across the road from my uncle's general store, the burr oaks that leaned out over the banks of the North Fork River crystallized with a thick crust of hoarfrost.  The tree nearest the road was dead, half-hollow, and it leaned farther than the rest, balanced at a precarious angle above the water.  A trio of vultures roosted in the branches, according to Buddy Snell, a photographer for the Ozark County Record.  Buddy snapped pictures of the tree, the stark contrast of black birds on white branches, for lack of anything better to print on the front page of the paper.  It was eerie, he said.  Haunting, almost.  He moved closer, kneeling at the water's edge to get a more interesting angle, and that was when he spied the long brown braid drifting in the shallows, barely visible among the stones.  Then he saw Cheri's head, snagged on a piece of driftwood; her freckled face, abbreviated nose, eyes spaced too wide to be pretty.  Stuffed into the hollow of the tree were the rest of Cheri's pieces, her skin etched with burns and amateur tattoos.  Her flesh was unmarked when she disappeared, and I wondered if those new scars could explain what had happened to her, if they formed a cryptic map of the time she'd spent missing.

What do you think?  Would you continue reading?  
What are you reading now or planning to read soon?
First Chapter ~ First Paragraph #94 was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  This post cannot be republished without attribution.


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