Today, we’re talking about the first lines of A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate.
Samuel Payton was an idiot.
This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.
First Impression of A Girl’s Guide to the Outback
Wow! What a great first line. There are many questions that come to mind when you first read this line.
- First, who is Samuel Payton?
- Who’s talking?
- Why does he/she think Samuel is an idiot?
- What did Samuel do to garner this reaction?
As you read on, you’ll learn that the statement was made by Kimberly. Since the book blurb hints at a relationship between the two, it made me curious to learn more about Samuel and Kim.
What’s their relationship? Since he’s the love interest, what will he do to change the speaker’s opinion from idiot to love interest?
What this tells you about the character
These five words give the impression that Kimberly is someone who has a lot of self-confidence. She has an opinion about Samuel and is not afraid to share it–at least in her thoughts.
The reader is left to wonder if Kim would be bold enough to speak the words out loud or if she would choose instead to use politically correct language.
I may be reading too deep but I also get the impression that there’s a bit of dislike–disdain?–towards Samuel. Maybe a hint of competition.
Did Samuel get a position Kim believed should have gone to her? Is Samuel her boss? Did he ask Kim to do something unreasonable? Or just something outside of her comfort zone?
The opening line is a great way to highlight a character’s greatest flaw. This could either be the flaw of the protagonist or the perceived flaw of the antagonist.
When you choose to highlight a character’s greatest flaw in this manner, you now have room to either show how the character lives up to this impression of their personality or how they are not what they appear at first.
It’s also a challenge to the reader. Will they agree with your opinion or will they disagree?
Maybe the reader will come to believe Kimberly is the idiot and not Samuel. Or maybe they will hope Kim was more open-minded and would give Samuel a chance to redeem–or prove himself.
What was your impression of Samuel and the speaker from this first line of A Girl’s Guide to the Outback?
About A Girl’s Guide to the Outback
How far will a girl go to win back a guy she can’t stand? This funny, sweet, and romantic story proves that opposites do attract—and that God has a sense of humor.
Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks sure do fly.
When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and heads home to Australia to help his sister, Jules, save her struggling farm. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. Together they strike up a deal: If Kimberly comes to work on Jules’s dairy farm and lends her business brains to their endeavor, then maybe—just maybe—Sam will reconsider his future with the church.
As Kimberly tries her hand at Australian farm life, she learns more about herself than she could’ve ever expected. Meanwhile, Sam is forced to re-evaluate this spunky woman he thought he already knew. As foes slowly morph into friends, they wonder if they might be something even more. But when disaster strikes the farm, will Sam find it within himself to take a risk that could lead to love? And will Kimberly trust God with her future?
Get your copy of A Girl’s Guide to the Outback.
About Jessica Kate
Australian author Jessica Kate is obsessed with witty romances.
She packs her novels with love, hate, and everything in between–and then nerds out over her favorite books, movies and TV in the StoryNerds podcast (official podcast of Reading Is My Superpower!) When she’s not writing or discussing fiction, she’s hunting the world for the greatest pasta in existence.
Her debut novel Love and Other Mistakes released July 2019, while A Girl’s Guide to the Outback hit shelves in January 2020.
Receive her sassy shorts The Kiss Dare and The Kiss Thief FREE when you sign up for her newsletter at jessicakatewriting.com.
You may also like: