Tuesday, December 8, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros: The Very Dead of Winter

Happy Tuesday! I'm participating in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, where bloggers share a bit about what they're reading or planning to read. It's a fun way to see what other people are reading. I'm starting the first of some holiday reading with The Very Dead of Winter by Mary Hocking (1993).

The opening:

"The beginning of the journey had been quite enchanting. Porcelain blue sky and the sparkling white canopy transformed dingy streets into fantasies of unimaginable purity and, passing out of the town, they came to broad fields where sunlight reflected a trellis of branches like veins across the snow. But as they drove, the small towns and villages, the farms, field and hedgerows blurred, became intermittently discernible, and finally dissolved and there was only a moving whiteness against a grey background, as if a great speckled blind were being drawn endlessly down into a bottomless well."

From the back cover:

"In this haunting novel, echoing mystery play and fairy tale, a family is forced to confront the grievances and emotional confusions of their shared past. In the very dead of winter they assemble at a remote country cottage enveloped by snow. Ostensibly they are celebrating Christmas, but festivities are marred by the presence of Konrad, who is dying. Florence, his manipulative wife, views Konrad's imminent death with annoyance; their two grown-up children bear the scars of this imperfect union. At the heart of this novel is Sophia, Florence's unorthodox sister and their host, who seems able to stand aside from family combat, yet guards a secret that has relevance for them all."

What do you think? Would you keep reading?


  1. Ooo! A guarded secret! I am always up for that. :-) The opening sounds as if it sets the tone well. I would keep reading. I'm curious to know more. Thank you for sharing, Monica!

  2. Gorgeous cover, and I like the beautifully descriptive prose. And secrets...my favorite thing! Enjoy...and thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. I don't think this one's for me...not a big fan of fairy tales and the intro didn't really grab me.

  4. Family conflicts are almost always fascinating. I'm wondering about Sophia's secret!
    Thank you for visiting my blog today.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

  5. Thanks for sharing this new-to-me book and author. Sounds like the perfect read for a long weekend.

  6. Love the cover and the intro - I'd read more. Enjoy Monica.

  7. Ooh that sounds like a Christmas from hell!! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Great into that starts off light and slowly goes dark. I'd keep reading.