When I submit a novel or short story, I send it with a prayer, hoping the agent or publisher will be hooked by the first lines and be reeled in by the following ones.
My historical novel Far Beyond Rubies begins:-
William's accusation and Juliana's reaction are intended to grip the reader and make them want to read on.
The first sentence of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind is:-
"Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realised it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton Twins were."
In his book, Writing the Blockbuster Novel, Albert Zuckerman comments. "This sixteen-year old girl is presented as someone out of the ordinary."
The first lines are crucial and the author needs to give them very careful consideration.