The most riveting, stunning, compelling tour de force of an opening scene in a book – absolutely bar none, and utterly more stunning than anything that could be rendered cinematically, because it is rendered in horrifying detail in the reader’s mind. Amazing!
After such an explosive opening, no book could (or perhaps should) sustain that power for its entirety – it would be unbearable. The book is not exactly disappointing after that, but it does become a somewhat thorny read for the balance. It ventures into other types of intensity, but in a more clinical fashion, as contradictory as that might sound. But interestingly, that thorniness perhaps exemplifies the multiple meanings of “enduring love”.