Welcome to a potpourri of fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by A Few More Pages; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!







Today I’m featuring a book from next week’s stack.  The Effect of Living Backwards, by Heidi Julavits, has been on my TBR stacks for quite awhile.

Does Alice really hate her sister, or is that love? Was she really enrolled in grad school, or was that an elaborate hoax? Is this really a hijacking, or is it merely the effect of living backwards?

Following her acclaimed debut, The Mineral Palace, Heidi Julavits presents a quirky, compelling new novel about two sisters, a bizarre event, and the elusive nature of truth.


Beginning:  When I arrived at the Institute, my name was still Alice, I was still the daughter of an entomologist and a population control activist.  I was still a dropout student of social work and a former waitress at a western-themed steakhouse.  I was still the product of one divorced academic family, various embassy school systems, two state colleges, three-quarters of an overpriced graduate program, and a long humiliating indoctrination by the American restaurant service industry.

My thoughts:  I’m guessing that by the time she leaves the “Institute,” she may no longer “be” any of these things.  Just guessing.  Her identity may go through an overhaul.


P. 56:  Despite Tabinshweiti’s artful talking, nobody believed him.  The hijackers were overpowered by the members of the British rugby team, the plane went into a tailspin and crashed into a harbor off Koh Pipi, and all sixty-nine people aboard were killed.


This book sounds like it will test our belief systems about reality.  I’m curious.


What about the rest of you?  What are you spotlighting today?


    • Yes, I have mixed feelings about this one, Juli. I started it a couple of years ago…and then put it aside.

      Hope I like it better this time!

      Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your weekend.


  1. Hi Laurel-Rain,

    Well! those first few lines and the cover art, certainly belie what the synopsis says about this book.

    I can’t quite see what the institute might be about, or where it might fit into the storyline, it sounds like quite a complicated and messy plot to me and I will wait to read your views about this one, with bated breath!

    Have a good weekend,



    • I really want to love this one…and hope that happens this time. I started it once before and gave up early on. I think I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind. Thanks for stopping by, wuthering willow.


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