First Chapter First Paragraph: The Twilight Hour by Nicci Gerrard

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.

This week I’m featuring The Twilight Hour by Nicci Gerrard, one of the books I’ve borrowed from the library.

The Twilight Hour

It begins:

Eleanor woke to what was not there. Outside, the wind still roared,dashing pellets of rain against the windows; inside it was too silent, not a breath or a heartbeat save hers. The darkness felt uninhabited. Before she reached out her hand, groping past the water jug and the vase of dying flowers to touch the bed and find it empty, the blanket thrown back and the pillow dislodged, she knew she was alone. She let fear seep through her, into every space in her body. She could taste the muddy, metal ache of it in her mouth; feel it in the palms of her hands and the base of her spine and in her throat like a rippling, oily snake; she could smell it on her skin, sour as spoilt milk.

That’s a terrifying feeling to wake up with – that image of a rippling, oily snake in her throat leaves me feeling sick –  and wondering why she is so scared.


Eleanor Lee has lived a fiercely independent existence for over ninety years, but now it’s time to tidy her life away – books, photographs, paintings, letters – a lifetime of possessions all neatly boxed up for the last time. But amongst them there are some things that must be kept hidden. And, nearing blindness, Eleanor needs help to uncover them before her children and grandchildren do.

Peter, a young man with a broken heart who feels as lost as Eleanor’s past, is employed to help with this task. And together they uncover traces of another life – words and photographs telling a story of forbidden love, betrayal, passion, grief and self-sacrifice, which Eleanor must visit one last time.

By speaking her memories out loud, and releasing the secrets of her past, Eleanor can finally lay them to rest. To honour them at last, and protect those who must never know.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?