There are novels that stay with you long after you have read them. The characters become your friends, the places in which they live become your cities and you feel their every action and word like they were real to you rather than works of fiction or the imagination (for fictional stories).

However, the thing that draws you most into a story is the first line. That captivating combination of words that motivates you to either keep reading or drop the novel.

Here are a couple of pretty captivating novel first lines by Nigerian writers:

“My first memory was of Eniayo.” From Daughters who walk this path by Yejide Kilanko.

There is a way that sentence instantly makes you think of your own first memory as a child. The greatest books pull you in by making connections with your reality and its own.

“They had decided a long time ago to make life hard for their father.” From Measuring Time by Helon Habila.

This immediately catapults the reader to a long line of questioning: Who are they? And why did they decide to make life hard for their father? What did their father do that was so bad? It gets you to want to read more.

“I’ve always been fascinated by candles.” From Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

This line suddenly creates in the reader’s mind a wonder for the fascination with candles. It forces one to consider their own fascinations and whether they also share a fascination for candles like the character.

“When Baba Segi awoke with a bellyache for the sixth day in a row, he knew it was time to do something drastic about his fourth wife’s childlessness.” From The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin

If there was ever a more captivating first line of a novel, it couldn’t be more captivating than this. It begins with all the suspense and intrigue that the reader will expect to find in the story.

A great book usually starts with a strong and captivating first line that sucks you in and leaves you scurrying through the pages of the novel to reach the end.

Do you know any captivating novel first lines that have left you spellbound? Kindly drop yours in the comment box below.


Author: Aderonke Adeleke

Writer. Music lover. Movie junkie. Social Media Enthusiast. Aspiring dancer. Aspiring photographer. Social Introvert.