book beginnings on Friday: The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland

Thanks to Rose City Reader for hosting this meme. To participate, share the first line or two of the book you are currently reading and, if you feel so moved, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line.


I was inspired to pick up The Forest Lover by a mention in the acknowledgements of Scott Elliot’s Temple Grove (review to come!), helped along by my admiration for Vreeland’s Girl in Hyacinth Blue and especially her Clara and Mr. Tiffany. In other words, I have high expectations; and the opening lines reinforce them.

Letting her cape snap in the wind, Emily gripped her carpetbag and wicker food hamper, and hiked up the beach, feasting her eyes on Hitats’uu spread wide beneath fine-spun vapor. Cedars elbowing firs and swinging their branches pushed against the village from behind.

In those sentences alone, I see several things. This is a book about a woman of another time; she “feasts her eyes” upon a natural setting; and there is a native, non-English presence. I think it will be lovely.

I can’t share the whole first page, because that’s not in the spirit of this meme and gets a little more tenuous regarding copyright; but Pops, if you read the first page of this book I suspect you might be convinced that it should go on your list. I’ll keep you up to date as I read on. (And for those interested in that whole first page – it’s freely available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble where you can “look inside” or “read instantly.”)

Looking good!

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