#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz


Sorry I’m late closing submissions—not that there were any—but I had an appointment and just got home. Sad to say, we had no winners this week, but as you all know by now, that’s not the main reason I love this quiz. I just enjoy reading these excellent opening lines and thinking about how to do a better job with my own.

Hope you enjoyed this very interesting line this week, even if it was totally unfamiliar to you. But now, it’s time to find out the answer.

 “Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.” is the intriguing opening line of Anne Tyler’s 2001 novel, Back When We Were Grown Ups, written in memory of her husband, who died in 1997.

The book was made into a movie in 2004, starring Blythe Danner, Faye Dunaway, Peter Fonda, and Jack Palance.

Here’s what Amazon has to say about the book:

“Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered that she had turned into the wrong person.” So Anne Tyler opens this irresistible new novel.

The woman is Rebecca Davitch, a fifty-three-year-old grandmother. Is she an impostor in her own life? she asks herself. Is it indeed her own life? Or is it someone else’s?

On the surface, Beck, as she is known to the Davitch clan, is outgoing, joyous, a natural celebrator. Giving parties is, after all, her vocation—something she slipped into even before finishing college, when Joe Davitch spotted her at an engagement party in his family’s crumbling nineteenth-century Baltimore row house, where giving parties was the family business. What caught his fancy was that she seemed to be having such a wonderful time. Soon this large-spirited older man, a divorcé with three little girls, swept her into his orbit, and before she knew it she was embracing his extended family plus a child of their own, and hosting endless parties in the ornate, high-ceilinged rooms of The Open Arms.

Now, some thirty years later, after presiding over a disastrous family picnic, Rebecca is caught un-awares by the question of who she really is. How she answers it—how she tries to recover her girlhood self, that dignified grownup she had once been—is the story told in this beguiling, funny, and deeply moving novel.

As always with Anne Tyler’s novels, once we enter her world it is hard to leave. But in Back When We Were Grownups she so sharpens our perceptions and awakens so many untapped feelings that we come away not only refreshed and delighted, but also infinitely wiser.

You can buy Back When We Were Grown Ups HERE

Thanks for playing this week, everybody, and next week, I’ll try to choose an easier first line. See you then!

21 thoughts on “#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz

    • Somehow, I’ve never managed to read any Anne Tyler, Joan, though I’m certainly familiar with many of her books, and I knew this one by name. But not by FIRST LINE! 😀 I wouldn’t have guessed it, either. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Darlene. I’ll be posting about that in a day or so, but it was a LOT of fun, if even some rather unexpected things happened. 😀 And I love this line, too. Downloaded the book immediately. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I do think it’s delicious, Trish! It just begs for a reader to turn the page and see why she would say such a thing. 🙂 The party was amazing, and I’ll be posting about it soon, both here and on the beta blog. 🙂 ❤


    • So glad you enjoyed it, Ms D. #FirstLineFriday is a regular feature here, because I enjoy posing a little quiz for folks, AND a chance to study some of the best first lines out there. I’m still working from various 100 Best Opening Lines in Literature lists. When I run out of those, I’ll be grabbing books from my shelves. Hope you’ll follow along! (And the first 5 to email me with the right answer win a free download of one of my books, too, even if that’s not the #1 reason to play along. 😀 ) Thanks for stopping by.


    • Boy, if being unfamiliar with this book or movie is enough to make you ashamed, I’m sure never telling you about some of the things I’VE done in my life! 😀 😀 😀 Seriously, I’ve never seen the movie or read the book, but I had heard of the title and remembered it because it’s as clever as the opening line. But as you can see, NOBODY got this one right, so I think you can hold your head up again, with no shame whatsoever! 😀 ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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