A grocery sack lay on its side near the open front door. I picked it up the and entered the hall. My mother was on the phone in the kitchen.
"I see," Mom said. "My husband is out of the country on business. Catherine and I will have to make those decisions." She paused. "She’s is only sixteen." Mom paused again. "When is the funeral?"
I ran the rest of the way to the kitchen. Heart racing, I plopped the sack on the counter, stepped close to my mother, and whispered, "Who is that? What happened? Who died?"
Mom put a finger to her lips and jotted a number on the pad of paper by the phone. "Thank you very much," she said into the receiver. "I'll call you as soon as I talk to her."
“Who was that?” I asked again as Mom hung up.
She stared at me with a stunned expression. "A lawyer in Louisiana. He said your grandmother died last week and left her house to you."
"My grandmother? Not your mother?”
Mom shook her head and sat down at the table. "I don't understand it either.
We were used to secrets and half-truths and out-and-out lies. My father worked for the CIA. But this was too up close and personal, and upsetting. All my life Dad had told me that both of his parents died before I was born.
This isn't a hook, it's the opening of the story. On the other hand, it's not a bunch of blatherous description. A hook is not the first page of the novel. It's the enticement on the book jacket.
The reason you need something OTHER than a first page for your hook is that many of you are going to be querying people who ONLY want a query letter (mystifying to Miss Snark, but true) and not a writing sample. They're going to look at your LETTER not the first page. You have to be able to describe the book without being the book.
I didn't want to limit you on the Crapometer by saying you can't send first pages, but really, you can't send just the first page to an agent in place of a query letter with a good hook.