Great Opening Lines – and Why! (January 2023’s Great Opening Lines)

I wrote in Great Opening Lines – and Why! (Part 3 – Some Great Opening Lines) that I’d share more great opening lines as I found them.

My last entry in this category was October 2022’s Great Opening Lines – and Why! (October 2022’s Great Opening Lines) which covered Linda Koerber’s Coyote’s Road Trip. This entry in the Great Opening Lines – And Why! posts is Lidia Yuknavitch’s‘s The Chronology of Water.

The day my daughter was stillborn, after I held the future pink and rose-lipped in my shivering arms, lifeless tender, covering her face in tears and kisses, after they handed my dead girl to my sister who kissed her, then to my first husband who kissed her, then to my mother who could not bear to hold her, then out of the hospital room door, tiny lifeless swaddled thing, the nurse gave me tranquilizers and a soap and sponge. – from Lidia Yuknavitch’s‘s The Chronology of Water
POV, emotion, energy, character, scene, and direction.

A long line, yes, and filled with so much energy and passion it left me weak.

And it was just the first line of this brilliant memoir.

My Goodreads review of The Chronology of Water starts with

I know this book isn’t for everyone, and

This book is a masterclass in too many aspects of storytelling and storycrafting for me to list. It has, in a few days’ reading, taught me what Literature is all about.

Do you have any great opening lines you’d like to share?
I’d love to know them. There’s a catch, though. You have to explain in context why a line is great. Saying a line is great because it comes from some great literature doesn’t cut it. Quoting from archaic and/or little known works doesn’t cut it.

Feel free to quote from archaic and/or little know works, just make sure you give reasons why something is great. I stated the Great Opening Lines criteria back in Great Opening Lines – and Why! (Part 2 -What Makes a Great Opening Line?).

So by all means, make the claim. Just make sure you provide the proof according to the guidelines given. If not, your comment won’t get published.