"I was born in 1927, the only child of middle-class parents, both English, and themselves born in the grotesquely elongated shadow, which they never rose sufficiently above history to leave, of that..."
"He - for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it - was in the act of slicing at the head of a Moor which swung from the rafters."
"PROLOGUE - Clare: It's hard being left behind.FIRST DATE, ONE Saturday, October 26, 1991 (Henry is 28, Clare is 20) Clare: The library is cool and smells like carpet cleaner, although all I can see..."
"It was a dark and stormy night. In her attic bedroom Meg Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind."
"Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Privet Drive."
"When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle, everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen."
"Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways."
"Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it:..."
"It was a pleasure to burn."