Favourite Opening Lines

Opening lines are important. Some stick in the mind longer than others and some will mean that short moment in which a reader decides to read on… or not.




  1. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca
  2. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must want for a wife.” Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
  3. “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina
  4. “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar
  5. “It was the day my grandmother exploded.” Iain Banks’ The Crow Road
  6. “124 was spiteful.” Toni Morrison’s Beloved
  7. “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were very normal, thank you very much.” J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

What are yours and why?

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