First Chapter First Paragraph: Julius

First chapterEvery Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where you can share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book you are reading or thinking about reading soon.

One of the books I’m currently reading is Julius by Daphne du Maurier. The first chapter is called Childhood (1860-1872). It begins:

 His first instinct was to stretch out his hands to the sky. The white clouds seemed so near to him, surely they were easy to hold and to caress, strange-moving, things belonging to the wide blue space of heaven.

They floated just above his head, they almost brushed his eyelids as they passed, and he only had to grasp the long curling fringe of them with his fingers and they would belong to him instead, becoming part of him for ever. Something in him whispered that he must clutch at the clouds and bring them down from the sky. So he held out his hands to them and they did not come. He cried out to them and they did not come. They passed away from him as though they had never been, indifferent and aloof; like wreaths of white smoke they were carried away by the wind, born of nothing, dissolving into nothing, a momentary breath that vanished in the air.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

I did and I’m finding it quite captivating. The ‘he’ in these first two paragraphs is Julius and right from his birth you can see him reaching out for things beyond his grasp.

14 thoughts on “First Chapter First Paragraph: Julius

  1. I just read Rebecca for the first time in my 6? years. I enjoyed it a great deal. I would try Daphne DuMaurier again. Thanks for sharing.


  2. It’s a wonderful opening – I hope the rest of the book lives up to expectations. I may hunt it out. I love Rebecca, and My Cousin Rachel, and Frenchman’s Creek, but my favourite is The King’s General


  3. Margaret – Oh, nice choice! I think du Maurier had a real skill at getting readers’ attention right from the start and this one certainly shows it. I’ll be interested in your review of it when you’ve finished.


  4. Wow–I’ve never heard of this DDM story but it sounds great–vintage DMM, spooky, intriguing, a little off kilter. Should be wonderful. Enjoy 🙂


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