You Have Five Pages to Tell Me It’s Good: #TheTenant by Katrine Engberg. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast

Hello, amazing fellow creatives! Here’s to more fun perusing the library’s new releases to see what strikes our fancy. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve retitled Story Cuppings to better fit the premise of the podcast.

As writers, we hear all the time that we’ve got to hook readers in just the first few pages or else. We’ve got to hook agents in the first few pages or else.

Whether you’re looking to get published or just hoping to hook your reader, first impressions are vital. Compelling opening scenes are the key to catching an agent or editor’s attention, and are crucial for keeping your reader engaged.


Well then, let’s study those first few pages in other people’s stories, shall we?

Today I snagged from the New Release shelf:

The Tenant by Katrine Engberg

I saw the words “grisly discovery” in the blurb and thought, I’m in! As promised, the discovery is indeed grisly, and it does indeed happen in those first five pages. What will you, fellow creatives, make of this tale’s opener? Let’s find out!

The first pages of The Tenant by Katrine Engberg are…well the first THREE pages are marvelously done. I was lulled into impatience following an elderly character, but by the end of the third page we made the “grisly discovery” and I found myself happily corrected on pacing.

Then the next two pages happened.

So this story’s start is something of a mixed bag. Perhaps I’m being too nitpicky, though, so feel free to let me know your thoughts!

As always, I love hearing what’s on the shelves of your own libraries. Libraries Rock!

Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!

15 thoughts on “You Have Five Pages to Tell Me It’s Good: #TheTenant by Katrine Engberg. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast

  1. I know people say this all the time, Jean, but I don’t think it’s true. One of my favorite books, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon takes something like 50 pages to get going and she wrote 7 or 8 more books after that and has an extremely loyal following.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a totally fair point, Pam! Heck, one of my favorite books, Howl’s Moving Castle, has a very exposition-y first chapter where we’re “told” a lot but not “shown” very much. I think it speaks even more to Gabaldon’s skill that she could keep readers engaged for that long before the story truly gets going. A rare talent, indeed! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it really depends on the writer. Wonder how many didn’t make it because the industry told them the first few chapters were too slow?


  2. Hi Jean, I just discovered that one of my neighbours is an indie author of children’s books. He’s such a great guy. Email me if you’d like to include him in your indie author interviews. Reach me on peggybright at hotmail dot com

    Liked by 1 person

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