We all know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover (yet, publishing companies spend big bucks on cover design/art). But, the opening sentence(s)/paragraph(s) are fair game. So, when I stumble on a good opening (or remember one and pull it off the shelves), I’ll throw it up here.
Back then, all we wanted was the simplest things: to eat good food, to sleep at night, to smile, to laugh, to be well. We felt it was our right, as much as it was anyone’s, to have those things. Of course, when I think about it now, I see that I was naïve. I was blinded by the swell of hope and the promise of possibility. I assumed that everything that would go wrong in our lives already had.
from The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
This last sentence here is the killer. First, it’s just a great sentence, short and to the point. Capturing the naïveté about to be lost and the voice of experience soon-to-be gained. It tells (warns?) you everything you need to know about the next 283 pages (and what happened before the book started). In just 13 words.