My Friday Post: The Second Sleep by Robert Harris

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

My choice this week is a book that I’ve just started to read – The Second Sleep by Robert Harris and it promises to be good.

It begins:

Chapter One – The Hidden Valley

Late on in the afternoon of Tuesday the ninth of April in the Year of Our Risen Lord 1468, a solitary traveller was to be observed picking his way on horseback across the wild moorland of that ancient region of south-western England known since Saxon times as Wessex. If this young man’s expression was troubled, we may grant he had good cause.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.


These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader. If you have to improvise, that is okay.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

One letter, however, had been sealed in its own plastic wallet, and this was found to be in near-perfect condition. Mr Shadwell had made a copy, and asked permission to read it aloud to the society. His proposal was approved unanimously

Imperial College, London, 22 March 2022


Dusk is gathering as a young priest, Christopher Fairfax, rides across a silent land.

It’s a crime to be out after dark, and Fairfax knows he must arrive at his destination – a remote village in the wilds of Exmoor – before night falls and curfew is imposed.

He’s lost and he’s becoming anxious as he slowly picks his way across a countryside strewn with the ancient artefacts of a civilisation that seems to have ended in cataclysm.

What Fairfax cannot know is that, in the days and weeks to come, everything he believes in will be tested to destruction, as he uncovers a secret that is as dangerous as it is terrifying …


If the quotation from the Sunday Times is right, this is exactly what I want to read right now:

thoroughly absorbing, page-turning narrative in which the author, with his customary storytelling skills, pulls us ever deeper into the imaginative world he has created. It [also] poses challenging questions about the meaning of the past, the idea of progress and the stability of civilisation. It is a fine addition to Harris’s diverse body of work. Sunday Times

19 thoughts on “My Friday Post: The Second Sleep by Robert Harris

  1. You are right. Exactly this kind of story is perfect these days. Have not read anything by Harris, but this seems to be a good way to start.


  2. Harris is a really talented author, Margaret, in my opinion. It’s good to hear that you think this one has gotten off to a good start. I like the sense of place and setting, and it sounds as though it’ll be a good story, too (must admit, I haven’t read it yet). I hope you’ll enjoy it all the way through.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Margaret! I love Robert Harris, so will definitely check this one out.

    I browsed your blog a bit, we have quite a number of books in common. I’m not on the blogosphere, or rather – I used to blog a couple of years ago, but just decided to start afresh.

    You are welcome to visit us! Not that we have much content yet….

    Here’s the link to my latest post WeekendBookFriends

    Liked by 1 person

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