Saturday, August 1, 2009

Once Upon a Time Saturday

In the grand tradition of Should Be Reading, a favourite blog (see blogroll), maybe I will institute a Once Upon a Time Saturday. The guideline is simple: introduce the first sentence, the first two sentences, or first paragraph from any book you are currently reading or have read.

My feeling behind Once Upon a Time is that what captures me, what really gets its claws into me when I decide to read something, is how it begins. And once I've finished a book, I often go back and re-read the beginning. Which adds another layer to my whole experience.
So this week, I will showcase for you the opening of A Wrinkle in Time, a book that I am currently reading:

It was a dark and stormy night.

In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind. Behind the trees clouds scudded frantically across the sky. Every few moments the moon ripped through them, creating wraithlike shadows that raced along the ground.

The house shook.

Wrapped in her quilt, Meg shook.

It's funny because I've never read A Wrinkle in Time. I read a lot when I was a kid but none of the classics (only Charlotte's Web thankfully because of school); but my parents are not readers and I had to reach blindly through my reading choices at the library. So I picked up a beautiful edition of AWIT and read the first page. And loved how it opened. And then I read in the supplementary author interview at the back that Madeleine L'Engle's "favorite childhood memory" was "Being in my room", and I was like YES!
The opening really captured me because it perfectly renders Meg's fear and attic loneliness. One girl against, at times, ferocious nature. Plus I love night-time storms, attics and old quilts.

The book I read last weekend, The Wand in the Word, also featured an interview with Madeleine which peaked my interest in her books. I think I mentioned that my to-be-read list sky-rocketed after reading that book!




Alyce said...

I loved A Wrinkle in Time, but didn't remember that it started with "It was a dark and stormy night."

I've read a lot of her books, and my favorite is "An Ring of Endless Light." It made me cry so much when I was a young teen, so of course I loved it. :)

Marge Moen in Washington State USA said...

A Wrinkle in Time was the first novel I ever read. I'm so happy you're reading it right now! If you're ever looking for another classic, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith is wonderful. I loved the main character Francie for many reasons, but mostly because she wanted to read every book in the library. When I was young, my dad used to say that I would read every book.

Mandy said...

Alyce; I've never read anything by L'Engle before. I will keep Ring of Endless Light in mind for my next L'Engle read. I love when books make me cry. 84 Charring Cross Road was the last book to make me cry (read about a month ago and I KNEW how it was going to end because I had seen the movie, I still cried).

Marge; I'm glad you found me here! Hope you like the blog. I have always hovered around Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I will absolutely consider reading it soon. Thanks!

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

I have never read this either.... looks good!


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