30 April 2020

Book Beginning: Richard Walden's Wife by Eleanor Mercein Kelly


Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader. We share the first sentence (or so) of the book we are reading, along with our initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

For a long time after the great family hegira - indeed, at intervals for the rest of her life - Emmeline would wake shivering in the solid security of her bed, reliving portions of it.

It's not often that I have to look up a word in the very first sentence of a novel, but "hegira" was not a word I really knew. I had fuzzy thoughts that it was something religious and perhaps Middle Eastern. Wikipedia tells us: "The Hegira is the migration or journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Yathrib, later renamed by him Medina, in the year 622."

So now we know that Emmeline's family made some sort of long journey. Intriguing! But who is Richard Walden, who is his wife, and where does Emmeline fit in?

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