4-30-curlupandread-001-framed-book-beginnings2friday 56

Welcome to some bookish fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; 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!

If you have been wanting to participate, but haven’t yet tried, now is the time!

What better way to spend a Friday?

As we gather around to chat about our books,  I’d like to share a book I’ve been reading:  an ARC, from Amazon Vine, called Friendswood, by Rene Steinke.





Beginning:  (1993) (Rosemont)

One of those evenings, before they knew, Lee walked past the Clarks’ ranch house, as sunlight shattered through the leaves overhead.  The fan of a lawn sprinkler bowed down again in the green yard, and a few drops dotted her shoulder.  Jess ran in front, dark hair splayed against the narrow back of her shirt, sneakers snapping against the concrete.


Beginning:  (2007) (Lee)

It was sunny again for the first time in days, and light mirrored off all the wet surfaces.  Post-storm, people drove slowly, though traffic was sparse.  Here and there fallen branches and toppled road signs lay on either side of the road, but things were getting back to normal.


56:  (Lee)

“You’ve been going out there again, haven’t you?” said Rush.  “God-damnit, they buried that poison.  And what good does it do you?  Probably dangerous even being out there all by yourself.”  She stood up to turn on the radio on the bureau.


Blurb:  A big, moving novel of one tight-knit Texas community and the events that alter its residents’ lives forever.

Friendswood, Texas, is a small Gulf Coast town of church suppers, oil rigs on the horizon, hurricane weather, and high school football games. When tragedy rears its head with an industrial leak that kills and sickens residents, it pulls on the common thread that runs through the community, intensifying everything. From a confused fifteen-year-old girl beset by visions, to a high school football star tormented by his actions, to a mother galvanized by the death of her teen daughter, to a morally bankrupt father trying to survive his mistakes, René Steinke explores what happens when families are trapped in the ambiguity of history’s missteps—when the actions of a few change the lives and well-being of many.

Driving the narrative powerfully forward is the suspenseful question of the fates of four Friendswood families, and Steinke’s striking insight and empathy. Inspired in part by the town where she herself grew up, this layered, propulsive, psychologically complex story is poignant proof that extreme public events, as catastrophic as they might seem, must almost always pale in comparison to the intimate personal experiences and motivations of grief, love, lust, ambition, anxiety, and regret.


What do you think?  Do these lines capture your interest?  I am loving this story and finding myself wrapped up in the lives of these characters.  I hope you’ll stop by and share your thoughts.



  1. I like books that take place in the past and in the present, so I’m sure I’d enjoy Friendswood. Besides, I lived on the Texas Gulf Coast for several years and would enjoy revisiting that area. Thanks for featuring this book. Also, thank you for leaving a comment on my blog this morning.
    Sandy @Texas Twang


  2. fuonlyknew

    It seems like real life, not fiction. It has happened and that would make for a deeper connection to the story. Plus I live in a small Gulf Coast town!


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