First Line Friday — How The Light Gets In

18 Jan

It seemed like I waited a long time to get my hands on How The Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim. But my mail carrier finally came through earlier this week, and it will be my weekend read. The first line hits you in the gut, so I am bracing myself for an emotional read. What about you? What are you reading this weekend. Please share your first line.

There are more fabulous first lines to discover over at Hoarding Books. Be sure to visit!


From the highly acclaimed author of The Outcast and The Alliance comes an engrossing novel about marriage and motherhood, loss and moving on.

When Ruth Neufeld’s husband and father-in-law are killed working for a relief organization overseas, she travels to Wisconsin with her young daughters and mother-in-law Mabel to bury her husband. She hopes the Mennonite community will be a quiet place to grieve and piece together next steps.

Ruth and her family are welcomed by Elam, her husband’s cousin, who invites them to stay at his cranberry farm through the harvest. Sifting through fields of berries and memories of a marriage that was broken long before her husband died, Ruth finds solace in the beauty of the land and healing through hard work and budding friendship. She also encounters the possibility of new love with Elam, whose gentle encouragement awakens hopes and dreams she thought she’d lost forever.

But an unexpected twist threatens to unseat the happy ending Ruth is about to write for herself. On the precipice of a fresh start and a new marriage, Ruth must make an impossible decision: which path to choose if her husband isn’t dead after all.

Jolina Petersheim is the highly acclaimed author of The Divide, The Alliance, The Midwife, and The Outcast, which Library Journal called “outstanding . . . fresh and inspirational” in a starred review and named one of the best books of 2013. That book also became an ECPA, CBA, and Amazon bestseller and was featured in Huffington Post’s Fall Picks, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and the Tennessean. CBA Retailers + Resources called her second book, The Midwife, “an excellent read [that] will be hard to put down,” and Booklist selected The Alliance as one of their Top 10 Inspirational Fiction Titles for 2016. The Alliance was also a finalist for the 2017 Christy Award in the Visionary category. The sequel to The Alliance, The Divide, won the 2018 INSPY Award for Speculative Fiction. Jolina’s non-fiction writing has been featured in Reader’s Digest, Writer’s Digest, Today’s Christian Woman, and Proverbs 31 Ministries. She and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but they now live in the mountains of Tennessee with their three young daughters. Jolina’s fifth novel, How the Light Gets In, a modern retelling of Ruth set in a cranberry bog in Wisconsin, releases March 2019.



22 Responses to “First Line Friday — How The Light Gets In”

  1. lelandandbecky January 18, 2019 at 9:32 am #

    Happy Friday! My first line is from “Liza’s Second Chance” by Molly Jebber:

    “Liza Schrock clenched her teeth and dug her fingers in the fresh dough in her Amish bakery.”

    • rbclibrary January 18, 2019 at 9:35 am #

      Bread baking! Sounds like she was relieving some stress.

  2. Paula Shreckhise January 18, 2019 at 11:12 am #

    I’m reading The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright:

    Pleasant Valley
    Northwoods of Wisconsin, 1908

    Melancholy was a condition of the spirit and the soul, but also of the mind. Still, she’d never seen melancholy claim the life and be the cause of a body laid to rest in permanent sleep.

    • rbclibrary January 18, 2019 at 3:11 pm #

      Cab’t wait to dig into that one. I have a couple of books before I can get to it though. Hopefully by the end of next week. Have a great weekend!

  3. BeautyInTheBinding (@BeautyInTheBind) January 18, 2019 at 11:14 am #

    I keep seeing this book pop up, but I’ve not tried any of her books yet.

    I’m sharing the first line from The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin:

    “Wars weren’t won with caution, and aces weren’t made in straight and level flight.”

    • rbclibrary January 18, 2019 at 3:11 pm #

      Love Sarah Sundin. My book club is reading this book later this year.

  4. Colletta January 18, 2019 at 12:50 pm #

    Oh My! What an opener! Enjoy 🙂 I hope you can stop by:


    • rbclibrary January 18, 2019 at 3:10 pm #

      Thanks for the link! I’ll be by.

  5. hjsnyder28 January 18, 2019 at 2:56 pm #

    Happy reading Beckie!

    • rbclibrary January 18, 2019 at 3:10 pm #


  6. Iola January 18, 2019 at 6:14 pm #

    Well, that’s a gut-wrenching first line!

    I’m sharing the first line from The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings on my blog today. I’m hearing great things about it, and am looking forward to reading it.

    • rbclibrary January 19, 2019 at 9:12 am #

      Can’t wait to find out how you liked it. Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. thebeccafiles January 18, 2019 at 7:55 pm #

    Happy Friday!
    On my blog today I shared the first line from The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright but I’m currently reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte so I’ll share the first line of my current chapter (11) here: “A new chapter in a novel is something like a new scene in a play; and when I draw up the curtain this time reader–you must fancy you see a room in the George Inn at Millcote, with such a large-figured papering on the walls as in rooms have; such a carpet, such furniture, such ornaments on the mantlepiece, such prints–including a portrait of George the Third and another of the Prince of Wales, and a representation of the death of Wolfe.” I honestly don’t know how I made it this far into my life without reading it! Hope you have a wonderful weekend with plenty of quality reading time! 🙂

    • rbclibrary January 19, 2019 at 9:11 am #

      I loved Jane Eyre, but it was eons ago when I read it. I should go back and read old favorites to see if they stand up to my years on earth. Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. bellesmoma16 January 18, 2019 at 9:22 pm #

    Happy Friday!

    Today on my blog I’m sharing the first line from Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green. It’s so amazing!!! I’m currently on chapter 22, so I’ll leave the first line from there.

    “The river had grown narrow and felt even smaller since Bright Star and Joseph had arrived with Gaspard Fontaine.”

    Hope you have a great weekend. Happy reading! 😀❤📚

    • rbclibrary January 19, 2019 at 9:10 am #

      So looking forward to reading this book.

  9. Yvette - Bookworlder January 19, 2019 at 12:46 am #

    That does pack a punch! I’m sharing from Excellent Women by Barbara Pym on my blog today, but I haven’t started reading it yet, so here is a not-so-randomly chosen line from the first page:

    “I suppose an unmarried woman just over third, who lives alone and has no apparent ties, must expect to find herself involved or interested in other people’s business, and if she is also a clergyman’s daughter then one might really say that there is no hope for her.”

    Have a great weekend!

    • rbclibrary January 19, 2019 at 9:09 am #

      Great line. Enjoy your book!

  10. jolinapetersheim January 19, 2019 at 10:48 am #

    Thank you for sharing! I hope you enjoy Ruth’s story of heartbreak and hope.

    • rbclibrary January 19, 2019 at 2:03 pm #

      Starting it today!

  11. Gingi Edmonds Freeman January 20, 2019 at 12:11 pm #

    I need to read more.. it is a sanity restorer of sorts! –

    • rbclibrary January 20, 2019 at 2:47 pm #

      Yes it is!!

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