Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. This week, I’m going to start sharing the opening pages of Little Ragdoll, the contemporary historical Bildungsroman I’m releasing on June 20th. It opens in early September 1959 in the Lower East Side, and ends in July 1974 by the Bridge of Sighs.
I recently rewrote the opening pages, along with reworking and rewriting a number of other parts of the first chapter. The first chapter’s title also changed from “Back to School Shopping” to “A Trip to Woolworth’s.” The opening lines might seem a little old-fashioned, but I think it sets up the fact that the story is a modern-day Grimms’ fairytale of sorts, with elements like a cute young millionaire falling for a poor girl, a black-hearted mother who hates all her children but one, and children who get away with squatting for years.
In the world Adicia Éloïse Troy is from, life is more like a Grimms’ fairytale than a Disney fairytale. But sometimes even the darkest, most twisted fairytale has a happy ending, even for a poor girl from the Lower East Side.
Adicia peers through the wrought-iron bars of the eighth floor fire escape balcony as she holds her six-month-old baby sister Justine on her lap, a gentle September breeze giving them some relief from the heat of the concrete jungle. She wiggles her filthy toes, savoring the feel of the breeze against her skin.
“One day we’re gonna leave this place and have a happy life far away, no matter how long it takes,” Adicia says in her strong Manhattan accent. “We’ll have a real house, lots of toys, new clothes, and even a car. But you’ll always be better to me than a thousand dolls.” Adicia turns her head at the approaching saddle shoe footsteps.