First Lines Friday #24

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!


Hello, reader!

We’ve made it to another Friday and, for once, I don’t have a blog tour post to share. You know what that means? We’re doing First Lines Friday! Today’s featured book is one I snagged from the library recently. I’ve heard so many great things about it and have been curious, so when I spotted it in the new book section, I had to grab it!

Now, let’s see if the first few lines can grab my attention.


The Line(s):

“A boy is coming down a flight of stairs.
The passage is narrow and twists back on itself. He takes each step slowly, sliding himself along the wall, his boots meeting each tread with a thud.”


The Hints:

This book is an award-winner, having won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2020 (among others).

It’s a historical fiction where The Bard himself makes an appearance.

The title is interchangeable with my favorite Shakespeare play.


The Reveal:

Click the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page

Goodreads Synopsis

“Drawing on Maggie O’Farrell’s long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare’s most enigmatic play, HAMNET is a luminous portrait of a marriage, at its heart the loss of a beloved child.

Warwickshire in the 1580s. Agnes is a woman as feared as she is sought after for her unusual gifts. She settles with her husband in Henley street, Stratford, and has three children: a daughter, Susanna, and then twins, Hamnet and Judith. The boy, Hamnet, dies in 1596, aged eleven. Four years or so later, the husband writes a play called Hamlet.

Award-winning author Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel breathes full-blooded life into the story of a loss usually consigned to literary footnotes, and provides an unforgettable vindication of Agnes, a woman intriguingly absent from history.”


Did those first few lines capture your attention? Did they make you want to read the rest of the story? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

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