Friday, April 18, 2014

Beginning ~ with two earthquakes

Sisterland ~ by Elizabeth Curtis Sittenfeld, 2013, fiction (Missouri)
December 1811
New Madrid, Louisiana Territory

The first earthquake wasn't the strongest — that would come later, in February 1812 — but it must have been the most astonishing.  It occurred shortly after two in the morning, and I imagine it awakening the people of New Madrid:  the farmers and fur traders, the French Creoles and Indians and American pioneers.
I have to share two beginnings, a couple of pages apart.
Chapter 1
September 2009
St. Louis, Missouri

The shaking started around three in the morning, and it happened that I was already awake because I'd nursed Owen at two and then, instead of going back to sleep, I'd lain there brooding about the fight I'd had at lunch with my sister, Vi.
Obviously, this book revolves around earthquakes.  I'm moving to St. Louis, so maybe I shouldn't be reading about earthquakes in that area.  Besides, I have twin daughteers, so I'm curious about the interaction between these sisters.  My favorite idea about this book, which I have just started reading, is from someone else's review.  The Coast (a New Zealand radio station) says the title of the book comes from a sign that hung for years on the door of the bedroom shared by the identical twin sisters:  "Sisterland: Population 2."  That intrigues me.  My twins will turn 54 on May 3rd, and they are still very close.  These two in the book, not so much apparently.  See what I wrote about the book when I got it from the library.  I wonder what happened to their "sisterland."

By the way, which of these covers do you prefer?  Why?  I'll give my answer in the comments later, maybe tonight.  I'll also share my reason for choosing one over the other.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for today's Mister Linky.


Gilion Dumas said...

Sounds like a good story. Thanks for sharing the opening on BBOF!

I like the top cover because it looks more old fashioned and the girls are older. So it seems to me to fit the story better.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I have identical twin daughters, so I noticed that the two girls in the lower cover have different eye colors. Twins don't stay exactly alike as they grow, but something as basic as the color of their eyes would be the same in identical twins. Therefore, like you, Gilion, I prefer the first cover.

Elizabeth said...

Sounds very good. Thanks for sharing.

Love the covers.

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