Happy Friday y’all! I’m so excited about starting this First Line Fridays series, because I think we can all agree that the first lines of a book not only set the tone for how the plot will move but for how we feel about the book overall too! Sometimes, the first few lines of a book can be the deciding factor on whether or not I’ll buy it! Today’s first line is from Laura Adamczyk’s short story collection, Hardly Children: Stories.
If asked, I will not say that I love children. Nor that I particularly do not love children. I’m not one of those who yells at parents to keep a better eye out when their kids run into the street or push into my pelvis at the coffee shop. I will instead say, if asked, that I notice them around — when I’m on my way to work or returning from the store — that I see their presence, I know undeniably that they exist, but that I have no real opinion on them one way or the other.
It was the summer our parents got divorced. Mary was five, I was eight, and Ronnie was ten. Five, eight, and ten. Even before Mom told us, the house entered a fevered state — the hot air thrumming, the walls damp with fuzzy moisture.
“Too Much a Child”
The old man wouldn’t stop talking about the children. The same old man at the bus stop every morning and usually something about the weather and the kinds of jackets people wore because of it (his was large and khaki, many pockets), but now this heavy, heavy talk. It reminds me of when I was a child, he said, almost wistfully.
Paperback, 240 pagesExpected publication: November 20th 2018 by Fsg Originals
Named a Fall Pick by Boston Globe, ELLE, Library Journal and MyDomain
An eerie debut collection featuring missing parents, unrequited love, and other uncomfortable moments
A man hangs from the ceiling of an art gallery. A woman spells out messages to her sister using her own hair. Children deemed “bad” are stolen from their homes. In Hardly Children, Laura Adamczyk’s rich and eccentric debut collection, familiar worlds–bars, hotel rooms, cities that could very well be our own–hum with uncanny dread.
The characters in Hardly Children are keyed up, on the verge, full of desire. They’re lost, they’re in love with someone they shouldn’t be, they’re denying uncomfortable truths using sex or humor. They are children waking up to the threats of adulthood, and adults living with childlike abandon.
With command, caution, and subtle terror, Adamczyk shapes a world where death and the possibility of loss always emerge. Yet the shape of this loss is never fully revealed. Instead, it looms in the periphery of these stories, like an uncomfortable scene viewed out of the corner of one’s eye.
What’s the first line from the book you’re currently reading? I’m looking to spice up my TBR! Hardly Children comes out in a few weeks – are you planning to read it?
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