First Lines Friday – August 9, 2019

First Lines Friday

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

The color of Erich’s hair was scarcely visible amid a field of yellow wildflowers. He lay very still on his stomach, one eye closed, the other trained on the muzzle of his rifle pointed toward the people at the base of the hill. An older man and a female of indeterminable age walked slowly, their pace encumbered by the failing legs of the man, with his uneven gait.

A tense beginning to the story…

And the book is… The Road to Ruin by Gemma Liviero.

The Road to Ruin

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For some people in post–World War II Germany, the battle is not over.

August 1945. As Stefano, an Italian POW, heads toward home across war-ravaged Germany, he encounters a young child beside his dead mother. Unable to leave him to an unknown fate, Stefano takes the boy with him, finding refuge in a seemingly abandoned house in a secluded woodland.

But the house is far from vacant. Stefano wakes at the arrival of its owner, Erich, a former German soldier, who invites the travelers to stay until they can find safe passage home. Stefano cautiously agrees, intrigued by the disarming German, his reclusive neighbor Rosalind, and her traumatized husband, Georg. Stefano is also drawn to Monique, the girl in a photograph on Rosalind’s wall, who went missing during the war.

But when he discovers letters written by Monique, a darker truth emerges. This place of refuge could be one of reckoning, and the secrets of the past might prevent the travelers from ever getting home.

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