Monday, October 24, 2011

Opening Lines: Birthmarked

Some opening lines jump out of the book, grab you by the collar, and say "This book is different!  Here's how!"

For example, Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien:

In the dim hovel, the mother clenched her body into one final, straining push, and the baby slithered out into Gaia's ready hands.

Whaaaaaat?  That's right: this book opens with our main character delivering a baby.  It turns out, she delivers babies all the time.  And right there, Caragh O'Brien hooked me; I can't say no to a book about a teenage mid-wife.

And in case that isn't enough for you, Caragh O'Brien herself is awesome.  She was a guest last year at the Fantasy Fiction Workshop at Girls Write Now (where I volunteer), and she had the following to say about Birthmarked:

“I think beauty is so important in our culture and so not important to what is really inside. So it was important to me to write a book where the girl was really physically ugly, and she sees herself as ugly, and, you know, so what? Right? She’s gonna save babies and turn the world around.”


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