Monday, October 29, 2018
We writers prattle on endlessly about the importance of the right opening, but sometimes they matters more than others. Sometimes it would be a completely different story without the proper beginning.
The last time I saw Jenny, she was lying unconscious in the sandy hollow at the foot of Danagher's Head...
That's the first sentence. The rest of the paragraph describes Jenny's appearance, and ends with a "sudden hoarse shout as someone found us."
So as the story progresses we have a good idea of what the climax will be. We are watching for clues as to what causes Jenny's fate.
The narrator explains: "That was long ago, in the summer of 1961. I was nine years old at the time..." This is Ireland and she belongs to a wealthy family with a summer home on the coast. Jenny is a naive country girl, and more fun than all the governesses the girl has ever had.
But something results in innocent Jenny crashing off that cliff. Was the narrator's distant but chivalrous father up to no good? Was her sinister mother jealous? What about Jenny's mysterious boyfriend who supposedly gave her the beautiful necklace?
Maybe you will guess the answer. I sure didn't.