"For the rest of her life, Charlotte Cleve would blame herself for her son's death because she had decided to have Mother's Day dinner at six in the evening instead of noon, after church, which is when the Cleves usually had it."
So begins The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. Librarian extraordinaire Nancy Pearl considers this a great first line, a first line that compels the reader forward into the thick of the Cleve family's tragedy. Other compelling first lines: Christopher Morley's Parnassus on Wheels, Michael Chabon's Wonder Boys, and even a slightly morbid nonfiction work, Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. But there must be others...
What other memorable first lines have sucked you into a book or stayed with you long after reading?