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That Stranger Next Door: the opening

2 June, 2015 | By Goldie Alexander

cover image for That Stranger Next Door

Perhaps it is time to introduce readers to some of my latest books. Others often ask me for tips about opening chapters that will  intrigue readers into reading more.  Here is the opening chapter of this novel.

This novel is available in hard copy and on all digital readers.

MELBOURNE.  APRIL, 1954.

1. Ruth.

Just after midnight, I was woken by feet clambering up the rear staircase. Curious, I[ crept down the passage through the kitchen onto the wooden landing.  From here I could look into next door’s windows.

A light went on and a blind shot up.

I saw two women and two men, their faces half hidden by hats, their heads together as if deep in conversation.

They must have felt someone eyeing them, because the blind came back down.

Half frozen and shivering, I dashed back down the passage, jumped into bed, and burrowed under the blankets. Ten minutes later, I heard feet clatter downstairs. My room, an enclosed balcony overlooking Brighton Road, has louvered windows. I sat up to peer between slits, and watched two men, but only one woman, climb into a car with darkened windows.

The car took off down the street.

This late, there was hardly any traffic. Above the outline of distant buildings, a quarter-moon slid behind a cloud. A cat skulking along the pavement receded into the shadows.

I slid back under the blankets and snuggled into my pillow. Next time my eyes opened, it was time to get up and dressed for school.

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Written  in 2 voices: fifteen year old Ruth and the mysterious older  Eva, this novel is set against the Cold War of the 195o’s.

 

 

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