Woo here we go, another First Lines Fridays, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words that I discovered over at One More Chapter (be sure to check them both out). What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? If you would like to make your own post you are welcome to use or edit my banner, and follow the rules below:
- Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
- Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
- Finally… reveal the book!
If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!
Here we go…
“Lyssa Strata pushed up her glasses and prepared to say the words “birth control” to the entirely male Athena, Massachusetts Town Council, the average age of which was 80. It would’ve been higher if not for her stepfather, Councilman Daniel Park, who, at 42, brought the average from “nursing home” up to “Viagraville.” The last time most of these men needed birth control, it had come in the form of a chastity belt.”
These are the first lines from the following book…
LYSSA STRATA by Martti Nelson
Genres: Comedy, Women’s Fiction
LYSSA STRATA, A modern take on the play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes.
She’s mad as hell, and she’s not gonna give it up anymore.
Librarian Lyssa Strata has long begged the Town Council of Athena, Massachusetts, to repeal its disgusting old misogynist and racist laws. But the Council, an all-male entity for 400 years, has blown her off as a redheaded spinster—who, according to a 1673 law, should legally be run out of town at the end of a musket upon a poor fiscal year. So Lyssa seeks to invade the male bastion as the first woman ever on the Council. The men in charge treat her candidacy as a hilarious joke, which does not impress the female townsfolk.
The women are damn tired of being second-class citizens. For example, it’s illegal for them to use a toaster, as the manipulation of buttons is thought to impede brainwaves and cause menstruation. They decide to wield the only power left to them: Lyssa leads them on a sex strike as a revolt against inequality. The fellas are enthusiastic supporters! LOL no, they protest and issue death threats. Yet, when the national news shows up to cover the contentious election, everyone finally starts to listen to the ladies.
In retaliation against the motley crew of sex-strikers, the Council enacts the antique laws they assured Lyssa were merely charming historical trivia. She is accused of witchcraft and thrown in the stocks, as one does in 2020. Now this bookish dork, once content to hide in the stacks and distribute quiet feminism via checkout, is burning down her torture device and sending the evils of the past to the dustbin. When you want something done, do it yourself.
Or don’t do it—they’re on a sex strike, after all.