Thursday, February 29, 2024

Alley Pond Park by Zachary Todd Gordon -- BOOK BEGINNINGS



Happy Leap Day! It feels like we are getting an extra Book Beginnings on Fridays this Leap Year. Thank you for joining me. Please share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week. You can also share from a book that caught your fancy, even if you are not reading it right now.

Jake's secretary called. Her brusque "Twelve o'clock sharp" unnerved me, more command than invitation to lunch in the partner's dining room.
-- From the Prologue to Alley Pond Park by Zachary Todd Gordon.

I wanted to give a two-sentence opening this week because that very fist sentence is too short to provide any sense of the book or even the scene. That second sentence pulls you more into the setting. We know the narrator is an employee, not a customer or client of Jake's. And from her tone, it sounds like there is tension in the workplace. That opening has potential. 

Alley Pond Park is the debut novel from Zachary "Zak" Gordon. Zak turned his hand to fiction writing after retiring from a career in finance and investment. His wife Wendy Gordon is the author of the dystopian adventure, It's Always 9/11, and the domestic thriller, Wrong Highway

Alley Pond Park launches March 26, 2024, and is available for pre-order through Itasca Books.  


Please add the link to your Book Beginnings post in the box below. Please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings if you share on social media.

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The Friday 56 is a natural tie-in with Book Beginnings. The idea is to share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your featured book. If you are reading an ebook or audiobook, find your teaser from the 56% mark.

Freda at Freda's Voice started and hosted The Friday 56 for a long, long time. She is taking a break and Anne at My Head is Full of Books has taken on hosting duties in her absence. Please visit Anne's blog and link to your Friday 56 post.


-- from Alley Pond Park:
After he left, I tried to get back to work but couldn't concentrate. I paced about the library, my sanctuary, and dear Mrs. Nichols the librarian, busy at the front desk ensuring everything was as it should be, updating index cards, alphabetizing everything by author and subject, noted my distress, approached me and asked if everything was ok.
Seth Matthews was sixteen when his older brother Jonah sped away on his motorcycle and never returned. Seth blames himself, but does he know the whole truth as he sets off on a journey to find Jonah and beg his forgiveness? He yearns to be a good person but his inner demons keep tripping him up. Neither success nor a loving marriage can satisfy the emptiness at his core as he navigates secrets, guilt, and obsessions through two tumultuous decades.


  1. We're only supposed to share the first sentence? I share whatever I feel makes the best teaser, like this week when I shared a couple of paragraphs. (And I know, it's all subjected.)

    Sounds like a good book. Hope you enjoy.

    1. I always say "share the first sentence (or so)" but back a million years ago when I first started this (before another host took over and actually named it Book Beginnings on Fridays), I stuck zealously to first sentence only. My idea was to examine first sentences, how they affected me as a reader, and which styles I preferred over others. I still stick with that one sentence idea most of the time. But there are books/weeks like this one that make me want to share more.

  2. Looks like an interesting book - I'd like to know more.

  3. Sounds interesting. Have a great weekend!

  4. Sometimes we do need a little more than the first sentence to be pulled in. I find that happens a lot with the books I read. Have a great weekend. :)

  5. I thought the opening was well-constructed. Does that count?

  6. Interesting teasers - both make me curious about the story. Happy Reading!


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