Tuesday, July 15, 2014

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph #69 and Teaser Tuesdays

It's Tuesday . . . time to share book excerpts with: 
  • 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.
  • Teaser Tuesdays hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading, where bloggers post two (2) random “teaser” sentences--no spoilers allowed--from their current reads to try to entice others to seek out these books.
Today I'm featuring the opening paragraph and a teaser from Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende.

Island Beneath the Sea 


In my forty years I, Zarite Sedella, have had better luck than other slaves.  I am going to have a long life and my old age will be a time of contentment because my star--mi z'etoile--also shines when the night is cloudy. ...

Part One

The Spanish Illness

Toulouse Valmorain arrived in Saint-Domingue in 1770, the same year the dauphin of France married the Austrian archduchess, Marie Antoinette.   Before traveling to the colony, when still he had no suspicion that his destiny was going to play a trick on him, or that he would end up in cane fields in the Antilles, he had been invited to Versailles to one of the parties in honor of the new dauphine, a young blonde of fourteen, who yawned openly in the rigid protocol of the French court.  All of that was in the past.  Saint-Domingue was another world.  The young Valmorain had a rather vague idea of the place where his father struggled to earn a livelihood for his family with the ambition of converting it into a fortune.  Valmorain had read somewhere that the original inhabitants of the island, the Arawaks, had called it Haiti before the conquistadors changed the name to La Espanola and killed off the natives.  In fewer than fifty years, not a single Arawak remained, nor sign of them; they all perished as victims of slavery, European illnesses, and suicide.  ...

Teaser:  "He confused the silences of his betrothed with modesty, in his eyes a fine feminine virtue, and it did not occur to him that she scarcely understood him." ~ p. 28

What do you think?  Would you continue reading?  
The opening paragraphs are lengthy and I have not included the entire text.  This is a richly described work of historical fiction that I find enthralling.   
What are you reading now or planning to read soon?
First Chapter ~ First Paragraph #69 and Teaser Tuesdays was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  This post cannot be republished without attribution.

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