This week's 'First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday' hosted by 'Bibliophile by the Sea', is from my new favourite writer, David Mitchell:
'Miss Kawasemi?' Orito kneels on a stale and sticky futon. 'Can you hear me?'
In the rice paddy beyond the garden, a cacophony of frogs detonates.
Orito dabs the concubine's sweat-drenched face with a damp cloth. 'She's barely spoken,' the maid holds the lamp, 'for hours and hours...'
'Miss Kawasemi, my name's Aibagawa. I'm a midwife. I want to help.'
Kawasemi's eyes flicker open. She manages a frail sigh. Her eyes shut. She is too exhausted, Orito thinks, even to fear dying tonight.'
'The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet' by David Mitchell.
Would you read on?