In today’s edition of Great First Lines, we’re looking at the first line of Diamond in the Rough by Jen Turano.
The First Line of Diamond in the Rough
Any smidgen of hope that her entrance into New York high society would be deemed a rousing success died the moment Miss Poppy Garrison’s tiara became firmly attached to the sleeve of her dance partner.
This is the kind of first line that draws you in and has all those questions popping into your head.
- How on earth did Miss Poppy’s tiara become attached to her partner’s sleeve?
- How is she going to disentangle herself?
- Did anyone notice?
- How’s she going to explain herself out of this situation? Will she even try?
- Has her dance partner noticed that she’s attached to his sleeve?
- What is he going to say when he does? What is he going to do?
- Does she need her season to be a success? Why?
We are immediately drawn into the timeline of the story. Even without knowing the exact year (which was actually stated at the beginning of the chapter), the reader knows this is a historical novel. We also expect Miss Poppy to be a young single woman who has somehow managed to avoid high society until now. Maybe she was underaged. Or maybe she was impoverished and has just now acquired a wealthy sponsor.
The first line of Diamond in the Rough also hints at Miss Poppy’s clumsiness. They also hint at a heroine with a penchant for getting into unusual situations. The impression is heightened by the fact that even though this is written in the third person, we get the sense that this opinion is being filtered through Miss Poppy’s eyes.
How First Line of Diamond in the Rough Plays Out in the Book
A series of disasters follow Poppy throughout the book and make for interesting reading, especially as she draws other people into her sphere of influence and they are affected by her mishaps.
We also see that Poppy has become resigned for the fact that where she is trouble often follows. What I liked about this was how she created a band of friends who rallied around her even as they themselves were changed by being in her presence and experiencing firsthand the mistakes and mishaps that happen to her.
The first line of Diamond in the Rough should be taken as a warning: strange things happen to the character. But instead of being scared, the reader is more than delighted to follow along.
About Diamond in the Rough
When Miss Poppy Garrison accepts her grandmother’s offer of financial help for her family in exchange for Poppy joining the New York social Season, she quickly realizes she is far less equipped to mingle with the New York Four Hundred than even she knew. As she becomes embroiled in one hilarious fiasco after another, becoming the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs her to be looks more impossible by the day.
Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke, is in New York to help his cousin find an American heiress who can help save his family’s estate. But when his very proper British manners lead Poppy’s grandmother to request he teach etiquette to Poppy, he quickly finds himself in for much more than he bargained for.
And while they couldn’t be more opposite, Reginald and Poppy just might find they have more to teach each other than they ever could have expected.
About Jen Turano
Jen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.
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