Friday, July 07, 2017

Book Beginnings: Our Spoons Came from Woolworths

Our Spoons Came from Woolworths, by Barbara Comyns (first published 1950). These are the first lines of Chapter 1:
I told Helen my story and she went home and cried. In the evening her husband came to see me and brought some strawberries; he mended my bicycle, too, and was kind, but he needn't have been, because it all happened eight years ago, and I'm not unhappy now.
About the Book:
"Sophia is twenty-one and na├»ve when she marries fellow artist Charles. She seems hardly fonder of her husband than she is of her pet newt; she can’t keep house (everything she cooks tastes of soap); and she mistakes morning sickness for the aftereffects of a bad batch of strawberries. England is in the middle of the Great Depression, and the money Sophia makes from the occasional modeling gig doesn’t make up for her husband’s indifference to paying the rent. Predictably, the marriage falters; not so predictably, Sophia’s artlessness will be the very thing that turns her life around."
Initial Thoughts:

After reading those opening lines, my first thought was that the narrator (Sophia) sounds oddly disengaged from the story she's relating — which is, after all, the story of her own history. Almost like she's talking about another person she once knew, and not all that well.

I picked this one up when I was looking for something to read for the What's In a Name Reading Challenge — one of the categories is "an item/items of cutlery," and spoons would fit. But I'm not sure how much of Sophia's airy-ness I can put up with.

How about it? Does this one sound like something you'd go on reading? Do the opening lines spark your interest, or would they send you dashing back to your shelves for another book?

Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


  1. Hmm, I would probably have to read more to decide, but the narrator does seem detached. I don't feel the emotion, perhaps because the event happened in the past.

    Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER”

  2. I don't think this one is for me. Mine this week is from Murder in Mayfair by D. M. Quincy - a historical mystery. Happy reading!

  3. Hmm, also not convinced. But then again, there are dogs on the cover, so maybe i'd give it a bit longer. Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay is my book today.

  4. I remember Woolworth's stores well. :-)

  5. I like both the quote and the title of the book. I bought my spoons from a deal that my bank was offering...put $25 into savings and you can buy a set (5 pieces) for $5.95. I was working that summer and I kept buying more and more sets. Now 40 years later, we still use them. Ha! My Friday Quotes

  6. Hey! I'm your 200th follower, yay! Amazing blog, by the way!

    I would truly appreciate it if you could check out my book reviews blog located at and possibly give it a follow as well! Looking forward to reading more of your reviews!

    - El


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