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April 26, 2016 / Leslie

First Chapter First Paragraph ~ Tuesday Intros

The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church

Algonquin Books | May 2016 | Hardcover • Kindle | 352 pages

Atomic Weight of Love

1st Paragraph:
In early June of 2011, forty-five hundred red-winged blackbirds fell dead from the Arkansas skies. A few days later, five hundred more birds plummeted to earth, and their broken bodies covered an entire quarter-mile stretch of the highway near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Some thought that one bird, confused by bad weather, led the others to their deaths; others blamed pesticides. I suspect there were also those who felt God has struck the birds from the sky in some sort of apocalyptic fever. Eventually, wildlife experts determined that the birds had died of blunt force trauma. Startled by the explosion of celebratory New Year’s fireworks, the birds—who had poor night vision—flew into power lines, telephone poles, houses, mailboxes, and tree branches. Our exuberance killed them.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Although this sounds like a “bird book” it is actually a love story. I am not usually drawn to love stories or romance, but this novel sounds like it has a strong female character and a substantive plot—qualities I enjoy in a story.


From Goodreads:

In her sweeping debut novel, Elizabeth J. Church takes us from the World War II years in Chicago to the vast sun-parched canyons of New Mexico in the 1970s as we follow the journey of a driven, spirited young woman, Meridian Wallace, whose scientific ambitions are subverted by the expectations of her era.


First Chapter Tuesday is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. Join us by visiting Diane and linking your own First Chapter post or to find out what others plan to read this week.

Source: Review copy from the publisher.
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Leave a Comment
  1. Bob McInnis / Apr 26 2016 12:34 pm

    I love the cliffhanger and dissonance of the last sentence. “Our exuberance killed them.” I would continue reading.


  2. Harvee Lau / Apr 26 2016 1:57 pm

    I would read on, for the adventure and romance as well as the bird watching.


  3. Hfineisen / Apr 26 2016 3:31 pm

    This sounds quirky enough that it would be the kind of love story I would like. Plus, I really like the cover. So I say yes, keep reading!


  4. Diane / Apr 26 2016 6:00 pm

    This sounds fantastic. I need to check if my library system owns it. thanks for sharing today.


  5. laurelrainsnow / Apr 26 2016 6:12 pm

    Wow, this is probably not a book I’d pick up, but after reading the excerpt, I am intrigued. I do want to know more now. Thanks for sharing.


  6. Sandra Nachlinger / Apr 26 2016 6:27 pm

    I enjoy a good romance, especially if the heroine is a strong woman, so I’m sure I’d like this book. Sounds fascinating.
    My Tuesday post features a strong woman too: STELLA BAIN.


  7. charliegirlteachergirl / Apr 26 2016 11:20 pm

    This isn’t one I would pick up or keep reading. My brain just can’t make the connection between the intro to what it’s supposed to be about. Plus, dead birds everywhere.


  8. Sue / Apr 27 2016 1:00 pm

    Yes, indeed. Intriguing beginning!


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