Friday, July 07, 2017

Book Beginnings: Our Spoons Came from Woolworths

Our Spoons Came from Woolworths, by Barbara Comyns (first published 1950). These are the first lines of Chapter 1:
I told Helen my story and she went home and cried. In the evening her husband came to see me and brought some strawberries; he mended my bicycle, too, and was kind, but he needn't have been, because it all happened eight years ago, and I'm not unhappy now.
About the Book:
"Sophia is twenty-one and na├»ve when she marries fellow artist Charles. She seems hardly fonder of her husband than she is of her pet newt; she can’t keep house (everything she cooks tastes of soap); and she mistakes morning sickness for the aftereffects of a bad batch of strawberries. England is in the middle of the Great Depression, and the money Sophia makes from the occasional modeling gig doesn’t make up for her husband’s indifference to paying the rent. Predictably, the marriage falters; not so predictably, Sophia’s artlessness will be the very thing that turns her life around."
Initial Thoughts:

After reading those opening lines, my first thought was that the narrator (Sophia) sounds oddly disengaged from the story she's relating — which is, after all, the story of her own history. Almost like she's talking about another person she once knew, and not all that well.

I picked this one up when I was looking for something to read for the What's In a Name Reading Challenge — one of the categories is "an item/items of cutlery," and spoons would fit. But I'm not sure how much of Sophia's airy-ness I can put up with.

How about it? Does this one sound like something you'd go on reading? Do the opening lines spark your interest, or would they send you dashing back to your shelves for another book?

Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.