A dentist Ray Testa, who is 58, leaves his wife Angie, to run off with his 31year-old hygienist, Shelby. At the wedding he announces: "I now belong to an incredibly exclusive club. There are not many men who can say that they're older than their father-n-law."
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.
Some of these books were incredibly well written -- others, less so. I looked for commonality in the pile of books, unconnected by genre or subject: why did I remember the characters, the plot, the settings, so well?