There's a reason more people understand the Holocaust from The Diary of Ann Frank than from The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Story. Since the cave man days we've learned more history through storytelling than textbooks. I know I have.
The perfect first line. How we chase it, scrambling phrases and our brains, seeking magic words to pop open our stories like magic keys. Tougher, can be that last line; tougher because it's culminating an entire world.
Truth in books delivers windows on the world that help us understand; it also delivers those oh-so-important I'm not alone moments which get can get you through everyday pain -- and isn't it the everyday pain that often breaks our hearts?