"The education bestowed on Flora Poste by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged; and when they died within a few weeks of one another during the annual epidemic of the influenza or Spanish Plague which occurred in her twentieth year, she was discovered to possess every art and grace save that of earning her own living."
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.
That is one of the best opening sentences I've read in forever. It is a whole short story in one sentence. I want to live in this book for a long, long time.
Cold Comfort Farm is one of my all-time favorite movies (I think it is actually a British TV show patched together into a movie). It is the source of several "lines" in my household, including the best, "I saw something nasty in the woodshed," always said in a quavery, sepulchral voice. So far, the book is just like the movie, which is fine by me.
Book Beginnings on Fridays is a new "opening sentence" event hosted by Becky at Page Turners.