First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday – 26th November 2021


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?

  • 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!

First Lines . . .

“Acto Primero

Habitación blanquísima del interior de la casa de BERNADA. Muros gruesos. Puertas en arco con cortinas de yute rematadas con madroños y volantes. Sillas de anea. Cuadros con paisajes inverosímiles de ninfas o reyes de leyenda. Es verano. Un gran silencio umbroso se extiende por la escena. Al levantarse el telón está la escena sola. Se oyen doblar las campanas.”

Original, in Spanish

“Act One

A very white inner room in BERNADA’S house. Thick walls. Arched doorways with jute curtains edged with tassels and flounces. Rush-bottomed chairs. Paintings of unrealistic landscapes with nymphs or legendary kings. It is summer. A great brooding silence fills the stage. The sound of bells tolling.”

English translation

Today’s First Lines Friday book is . . .

The House of Bernada Alba is Federico García Lorca’s last and possibly finest play, completed shortly before he was murdered by Nationalist sympathisers at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Inspired by real-life characters and described by Lorca as ‘a true record of village life’, it is a tragic tale of frustration and explosive passions in a household of women ruled by a tyrannical mother.

Did you guess this book by its first lines? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading this post.


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