Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.
My book this week is one of the books I’m reading at the moment, The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola.
Shrieking split the leaden sky and Audrey looked up to see a host of birds, their wings ink-black against the grey.
‘Storm coming, d’you see? They know the wind’s changing.’ The man gestured upwards, but his eyes were on Audrey. ‘They feel it long before we can tell.’
Audrey Hart is on the Isle of Skye to collect the folk and fairy tales of the people and communities around her. It is 1857 and the Highland Clearances have left devastation and poverty, and a community riven by fear. The crofters are suspicious and hostile to a stranger, claiming they no longer know their fireside stories.
Then Audrey discovers the body of a young girl washed up on the beach and the crofters reveal that it is only a matter of weeks since another girl disappeared. They believe the girls are the victims of the restless dead: spirits who take the form of birds.
Initially, Audrey is sure the girls are being abducted, but as events accumulate she begins to wonder if something else is at work. Something which may be linked to the death of her own mother, many years before.
What do you think? Would you keep reading?
I was captivated by the opening chapters of this book. Now, I’m nearing the end and it is still captivating me. It’s mysterious, full of folk and fairy tales, with a sense of foreboding.