Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesday/First Chapter First Paragraph


Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea hosts this weekly meme. The idea is that you post the opening paragraph (sometimes maybe a few ) of a book you decided to read based on the opening paragraph (s). 

The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam

On a winter night shortly after the New Year festivities, Chen Kai sat on the edge of the family kang, the brick bed. He settled the blanket around his son.

Gwai jai,” he said. Well- behaved boy. “Close your eyes.”

“Sit with me?” said Chen Pie Sou with a yawn. “You promised . . .”

“I will.” He would stay until the boy slept. A little more delay. Muy Fa had insisted that Chen Kai remain for the New Year celebration, never mind that the coins from their poor autumn’s harvest were almost gone. What few coins there were, after the landlord had taken his portion of the crop. Chen Kai had conceded that it would be bad luck to leave just before the holiday and agreed to stay a little longer. Now, a few feet away in their one- room home, Muy Fa scraped the tough skin of rice from the bottom of the pot for the next day’s porridge. Chen Kai smoothed his son’s hair. “If you are to grow big and strong, you must sleep.” Chen Pie Sou was as tall as his father’s waist. He was as big as any boy of his age, for his parents often accepted the knot of hunger in order to feed him.

“Why . . .” A hesitation, the choosing of words. “Why must I grow big and strong?” A fear in the tone, of his father’s absence.

“For your ma, and your ba.” Chen Kai tousled his son’s hair. “For China.” Later that night, Chen Kai was to board a train. In the morning, he would arrive at the coast, locate a particular boat. A village connection, a cheap passage without a berth. Then, a week on the water to reach Cholon. This place in Indochina was just like China, he had heard, except with money to be made, from both the Annamese and their French rulers.

With his thick, tough fingers, Chen Kai fumbled to undo the charm that hung from his neck. He reached around his son’s neck as if to embrace him, carefully knotted the strong braid of pig gut. Chen Pie Sou searched his chest, and his hand recognized the family good luck charm, a small, rough lump of gold.

“Why does it have no design, ba?” said Chen Pie Sou. He was surprised to be given this valuable item. He knew the charm. He also knew the answers to his questions. “Why is it just a lump?” 

14 comments:

Karen and Gerard said...

The title intrigued me but then those strange names turned me off. I don't do well with remembering strange names and they become a distraction to me.

Here's ours: Here's ours: http://www.ourstack.blogspot.com/2012/08/tuesday-teasers-two-fiction-and-one-non.html

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Loved the snippet...thanks for sharing.

Here's MY TUESDAY MEMES POST

Li @ rulethewaves.net said...

Great teaser, definitely have to keep a lookout for that book!

Here are my teasers for this week =)

Nise' said...

Intriguing tease. This is one I would listen on audio to get the names correct.

Sandy Nachlinger said...

What a touching scene! I love the mood that the author has created. Great teaser.
My teaser is from LIES THAT BIND by Delinda McCann.

Heather said...

An intriguing teaser. Thanks for sharing it, and for visiting my own.

Sabina said...

Intriguing teaser!

Thanks for stopping by my Teaser Tuesday =)

Melissa @ Melissa's Bookshelf said...

Interesting teaser -- I like that it is a bigger sampling!

Here's my Teaser!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I think I would have a tough time with this one. For me, it just didn't flow well. I hope you enjoy it though.

Thanks so much for joining in.

Yvonne said...

Sounds like an interesting book.

Concise Reviews By Michelle said...

Thanks for stopping by, I never heard of this one, sounds interesting though, hope you enjoy it.
:)
a Tuesday Teaser and Intros

Shelley Munro said...

This sounds intriguing, but maybe not for me.

Lizzy said...

Definitely an interesting snippet from this book. I'll have to go investigate it.

C.M.Brown said...

Enjoyed the short section you posted.
CarolynBrown-Books