Holding the Forest Back


Photo by Deglee Degi on Unsplash

Today I’m highlighting the opening sentence from the novel Redemption Road, by John Hart. You might have to be “from the country” to fully appreciate this turn of a phrase.

“Bushes were overgrown, but the grass had been cut often enough to hold the forest back.” – opening sentence in Redemption Road, by John Hart

I like how Mr. Hart wrapped that idea up in a simple sentence. Using the phrase, “to hold the forest back” gets the thought across perfectly and succinctly.

If I had written it, I probably would have gone into a detailed explanation of sweet gum sprouts trying to take over the property. Can you guess what we have a problem with in our yard? It seems like the woods are constantly trying to gain more of a foothold on the cleared land that we consider to be our yard.

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. I’m reading The Last Castle:  The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home, by Denise Kieman. I’m also reading Perennial Seller:  The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts, by Ryan Holiday. I had to put The King of Lies, by John Hart, on the back burner and switch off to the Kieman and Holiday books because they’re due back at the library before the Hart book. There is method to my madness. I’m able to concentrate enough to read more now than a couple of months ago.

If you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time.


10 thoughts on “Holding the Forest Back

  1. My reply to you, Katrina, just vanished. I’ll try again (and then it will probably show up twice!) Funny you should mention James Lee Burke. I’ve never read any of his books, but I was reading about his new one, Robicheaux, just last night. With your recommendation, I’ll add him to my Want to Read list. Let me know if you recommend one of his books in particular for me to start with. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Janet🌷😊
    Dang it LOL
    I typed E instead of Lee….😜
    All of his books are great but if I had to pick one of my favorites, it would have to be his 8th book Neon Rain. Between you me, the couple books, just before his latest book, were not quite as good as his others; but, maybe I am spoiled by his near perfect writing.
    He is on Facebook now. And he gives feedback and advice about writing. His writing discussions are excellent. You might want to check it out. He is so humble and charming. He is very easy to listen to and read.
    Good luck my friend 🍀😊 I hope you enjoy them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Janet. It’s a nice first sentence. and I’ve always felt about my first sentences that if I got it right the whole book of 100,000 words would fall into place. And you can tell, can’t you, if in fact you did get it right? it sounds particularly great, or it brings tears to your eyes, or you have to show it to someone. Good post. I’ve been writing good first sentences for fifty years now and this morning am starting another book and looking forward to how it will start. Ummmm, let’s see…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for your comment, David. I thought I replied to you earlier, but it’s not showing up. How’s that new book going? Have you found its opening sentence? I’m glad you enjoyed this post. Opening sentences of novels fascinate me. I just hope my debut novel will have a good one!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Janet, I’m sure your opening sentence will be great. I estimate my book is 98% done…just needs the tightening up and a few embellishments. I went through the process of cutting out 15,000 words and then started embellishing a little too much, and now I might have to cut some more, but it’s got a good first sentence.Even my wife, my tough, tough editor, likes it. Thanks for asking

    My best to you, and thank you for your support and your interest in my work. I’m looking forward eagerly to your next post.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for your recommendations. I’ve added them to my ever-growing list of books I want to read. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I apologize for my delay in replying.

    Liked by 1 person

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