Thursday, October 8, 2020

A Small Crowd of Strangers by Joanna Rose - BOOK BEGINNINGS



Welcome back for another week of sharing the opening sentences (or so) from the books that have captured our attention. Please put a link to your post below. If you do not have a blog and want to play along, leave a comment with the first lines from the book, along with the title and author. 

If you post on social media, please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings so we can find each other.


It was things like reading all of John Updike, and all of Elmore Leonard, and doing the crossword in the middle of the afternoon when she didn't have to work, with the all-classical station pouring out the windows of her apartment over the dry cleaner's.

-- A Small Crowd of Strangers by Joanna Rose, new from Forest Avenue Press.  I like John Updike. I like Elmore Leonard. I like crossword puzzles. And I like this kind of long, descriptive opening sentences. I think I am going to like this book.


How does a librarian from New Jersey end up in a convenience store on Vancouver Island in the middle of the night, playing Bible Scrabble with a Korean physicist and a drunk priest? She gets married to the wrong man for starters--she didn't know he was 'that kind of Catholic'--and ends up in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She gets a job in a New Age bookstore, wanders toward Buddhism without realizing it, and acquires a dog. Things get complicated after that. Pattianne Anthony is less a thinker than a dreamer, and she finds out the hard way that she doesn't want a husband, much less a baby, and that getting out of a marriage is a lot harder than getting into it, especially when the landscape of the west becomes the voice of reason. Joanna Rose's second novel, is part love story, part slightly sideways spiritual journey. 

I admit I'm a little put off by the "that kind of Catholic" comment. I'm not Catholic, but the sentence "didn't know you were that kind of _____" doesn't typically express a kind thought. But the description is not the book, so I'll read it with an open mind. 


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Join Freda and friends at Freda's Voice to share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your book. If you are reading with your ears or on a device, share a teaser from 56% of the way through your audiobook or ebook. 


He'd known this priest as long as he could remember. Father McGivens had helped him talk to his parents about his decision to be a teacher instead of going to law school.

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