Book beginnings is a meme set up by Rose City Reader. Every Friday post the first line, or few lines, of the book you’re reading along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Then add a link to your post on Rose City Reader’s blog.
My Book Beginning
How to be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras
This is what it was like:
I didn’t want you to come. I didn’t want you there.
The day before school, the very first year,
we waited in line for my schedule.
They stared. Those in line around us –
the other girls and their moms,
the ones who were my year,
who were never my friends –
The saw how you were big, planetary, next to them.
Next to me.
The girl in pigtails, someone’s sister,
asked: Is there a baby inside?
Her mother, red now, whispered in her ear.
But the girl didn’t mind:
Oh, so she’s fat.
The other girls, the ones who were my year
who were never my friends – they laughed at you, quietly,
The novel opens with this poem and I think it really packs a punch. I love the use of ‘planetary’, it conjures up all sorts of images, which fits with how out of place this girl feels. It’s just so striking and memorable. It says so much in so few words, it’s great writing. I cannot wait to read more of this book!