Thursday, January 30, 2020

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings


It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

Today I'm featuring a current read, The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford.

 The Woman on the Orient Express 

Beginning:  Prologue
August 1963
He comes from the river.  Steals into my garden without warning.  I am sitting in the camellia grove above the estuary, waiting for the sunset, watching a pair of oystercatchers at the water's edge, and trying to work out who is going to murder Major Palgrave.  The lapping of the tide lulls me to sleep, so I don't see the boat heading for the mooring.
 * * * * * * * * * *

Chapter 1
October 1928--London, England

Can we be haunted by those who are not yet dead?  In the weeks that followed Agatha's divorce from Archie Christie, a ghostly part of him seemed to follow her everywhere.  Sitting in an empty house, she would hear his footsteps on the stairs.  Waking in the night, she would feel the weight of his body in the bed.  Opening the wardrobe, she would breathe in the familiar scent of shaving soap and cigarettes, even though his clothes were long gone.  It was as if her senses had joined the conspiracy to push her over the edge.

56% of eBook:  "She's got guts, hasn't she?" Nancy said.  "After what happened in Egypt, most people would have turned tail and run home."

My thoughts:   This book was selected by one of my book clubs.  I am enjoying the story so far, particularly because the main character is Agatha Christie, who is taking a trip on the Orient Express under an assumed name.

From Goodreads:  Hoping to make a clean break from a fractured marriage, Agatha Christie boards the Orient Express in disguise. But unlike her famous detective Hercule Poirot, she can’t neatly unravel the mysteries she encounters on this fateful journey.

Agatha isn’t the only passenger on board with secrets. Her cabinmate Katharine Keeling’s first marriage ended in tragedy, propelling her toward a second relationship mired in deceit. Nancy Nelson—newly married but carrying another man’s child—is desperate to conceal the pregnancy and teeters on the brink of utter despair. Each woman hides her past from the others, ferociously guarding her secrets. But as the train bound for the Middle East speeds down the track, the parallel courses of their lives shift to intersect—with lasting repercussions.

Filled with evocative imagery, suspense, and emotional complexity,
The Woman on the Orient Express explores the bonds of sisterhood forged by shared pain and the power of secrets.


This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog,  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter with appropriate recognition is appreciated.


  1. I haven't heard of this one before. It seems interesting, and I like the quotes. Enjoy your current read!

  2. Oooh, I really like that opening. Kind of spooky and sad. I hadn't heard of this book before, but the premise is so interesting. It makes me sort of wonder what Agatha Christie would have thought of being turned into a character.

    Here's my Friday post.

  3. Great descriptive snippets. Now I am intrigued. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: ‘DEEP STATE”

  4. Love th ecover and snippets!! Happy weekend!

  5. Very evocative snippets, and an intriguing premise. Enjoy!

  6. I really like the sound of this one! I'd love for you and your readers to check out mine! Gayle Trent

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