Time for another Tuesday Teaser! This is a meme hosted by MizB at the Should Be Reading blog. It involves taking your current read, opening it to a more-or-less random spot, and pulling two teaser sentences from it.
And no spoilers for people who don’t want to know the ending or the whole plot before they read the book!
In today’s case, however, the information I provide will seem like a spoiler, but isn’t. Because you know from the very first chapter that a young brother and sister drowned in a boat on the river. And the story veers, from chapter to chapter, between events that took place in the thirty years since then, events that led up to the drowning, and events that surrounded it.
So the photographer taking pictures in my teaser was doing it thirty years ago. And by this time in the book, the reader knows exactly what he is seeing, even though he is completely oblivious until a few hours later. (And sorry, I cheated again: this is three sentences instead of two.)
Something else moved on the river. It was a boat. Xavier caught only a glimpse of the stern before it disappeared under the trees.
The River, by Tricia Wastvedt, p. 152
It’s not so much the sentences themselves that make the hair want to stand up on the back of your neck. It’s the reader’s knowledge of what is really going on. We want to yell at Xavier to run, run down to the river, and save the kids before it’s too late! But he just goes on, enjoying the sunny day.
I’m not always fond of a style that skips back and forth quite so much between time periods and characters. But in this case, it works really well, and creates a lot of tension.