Interesting article … but I have to say none of the other examples comes near the quality of Renault. Another one that does is du Maurier’s “Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley … “. A third example is the opening to le Guin’s “Left Hand of Darkness” which goes, “I’ll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination.”   It’s also interesting that all three of these stories are written in the 1st person. I’m not necessarily a big fan of 1st person writing but in all these cases it works a treat.

It’s certainly true that the opening of a book can make you instantly want to buy it. It’s also true that it’s hard to come up with just that sentence which works.

Have a read of the article and see what you think about the suggestions and examples …