Book Beginnings – 11th June 2021

Book beginnings on Fridays is hosted by Rose City Reader and it is a chance to share the first sentence or so of a book you’ve reading, about to read or recently read.

The book I’d like to share this week is ‘The Island Home’ by Libby Page. One I’m starting today…

Euston station, 8.30 p.m. It’s midsummer and London sweats and steams, clutched in the middle of a heatwave. The after-work crowds have thinned but the concourse is still busy, figures in damp, crumpled suits staring at the announcement boards where times and destinations flash in orange letters. Families huddle in groups, mothers fanning young children and handing out water bottles as they wait, perched on piles of luggage. A surprising scent of coconut wafts from the glowing doorway of The Body Shop, mingling with the sourer human smells of hundreds of hot passengers leaving and arriving, carrying bags and their own secret burdens. A few discarded evening newspapers litter the floor, trampled underfoot by rushing commuters and holidaymakers. A police officer patrols the perimeter of the station, an Alsatian sniffing the air at the end of a short lead. Occasionally the officer pauses on his route to wipe beads of sweat from his forehead. We are early. The 9.20 train to Fort William is up there on the board but there’s no platform yet. Beside me my daughter Ella pulls her new pink suitcase as though it’s empty, her steps light. My own case feels much heavier as it drags behind me. Partly because this whole trip was Ella’s idea really, not mine.

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