First Paragraph: Salvage the Bones

Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea asks us to share the first paragraph of a book we are reading. As you can see it’s called First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. As readers we are often captivated or turned away by that first paragraph or two. Let’s see what you think about the first paragraph of my current read.

I’ve been reading Salvage the Bones by Jessmyn Ward. It is the latest (2011) winner of the National Bood Award for Fiction. This is indeed a unique novel, unlike anything I’ve read in a long time. Here’s the beginning paragraph:

China’s turned on herself. If I didn’t know, I would think she was trying to eat her paws. I would think that she was crazy. Which she is in a way. Won’t let nobody touch her but Skeet. When she was a big-headed pit bull puppy, she stole all the shoes in the house, all our black tennis shoes Mama bough because they hide dirt and hold up until they’re beaten soft. Only Mama’s forgotten sandals, thin heeled and tinted pink with so much red mud seeped into them, looked different. China hid them all under furniture, behind the toilet, stacked them in piles and slept on them. When the dog was old enough to run and trip down the steps on her own, she took the shoes outside, put them in shallow ditches under the house. She’d stand rigid as a pine when we tried to take them away from her. Now China is giving like she one took away, bestowing where she once stole. She is birthing puppies.

Yes, a long opening paragraph. What do you think? Would you keep going? I plan to tell you all about this book on Thursday. I hope you’ll come back.

About Margot

I'm also known as Joyfully Retired. I love to talk. I love to talk about books I've read, movies I've seen, places I've traveled to, people (especially my children and grandchildren), and Food. On the Quirky Girls Read blog I'm trying to read all the books that have won the major awards and then, of course, talk about them.
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5 Responses to First Paragraph: Salvage the Bones

  1. I would definitely continue reading, if fact this one is one I’m hoping to get to soon — great intro.

  2. I like the narrator’s voice. Now I’m intrigued. Thanks for sharing.


  3. I am intrigued by that opening.

  4. JoAnn says:

    What an unusual opening! I got this from the library last month, but wasn’t able to read it before it was due. Will be curious to hear what you thought. Didn’t it win the National Book Award?

  5. kaye says:

    that beginning paragraph was very different–I’ll be back on Thursday to see what you think about it. Where do I go for details about the “Ramona Forever” read-a-long?

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