First Paragraph: The Midwife’s Apprentice

Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea asks us to share the first paragraph of a book we are reading. As you can see it’s called First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. As readers we are often captivated or turned away by that first paragraph or two. Let’s see what you think about the first paragraph of my current read.

I’m almost done reading The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman. The young girl featured in this story won my sympathy from the very beginning. The story is set in the middle-ages. This first paragraph may turn you off as it’s gruesome.

When animal droppings and garbage and spoiled straw are piled up in a great heap, the rotting and moiling give forth heat. Usually no one gets close enough to notice because of the stench. But the girl noticed and on that frosty night, burrowed deep into the the warm, rotting muck, headless of the smell. In any event, the dung heap probably smelled little worse than everything else in her life — the food scraps scavenged from kitchen yards, the stables and sties she slept in when she could, and her own unwashed, unnourished, unloved, and unlovely body.

Doesn’t that make you want to scoop her up and take her home for a bath, a good meal and a warm, dry bed? But, yes, this is a novel.  Would you keep reading? Tell me what you think.

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4 Responses to First Paragraph: The Midwife’s Apprentice

  1. Oh my how very sad that intro was. I am curious for more though. Hope you enjoy this one. Thanks for joining in Margot; I appreciate it.

  2. Beth F says:

    Awww. Poor thing.

  3. Trish says:

    Yes, I’d want to bring her home and hear the rest of her story in the comfort of some clean clothes and a good hot meal. After reading stories like this I always want to go and have a shower myself. Ugh! I wouldn’t have lasted a day in those times. Have you read Perfume by Patrick Susskind? It’s also pretty icky.

    Sounds like a good story, though. I’d keep reading for sure.

  4. kelley says:

    oh sad 🙁 I’d probably keep reading. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

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