I've been pondering this question for a while now and then decided who better to poll then my fellow enthusiasts!
My first novel, which I am currently about to finish editing, begins with a flashback. In actuality, it begins with two flashbacks which I consider more of a double prologue. You see the story is told from the POV of a daughter who finds her mother's body after she commits suicide and then follows her along the path of self-discovery as she searches for the reason for her mother's death. It becomes apparent during the course of the novel that her mother and father's relationship was doomed from the beginning and the two flashback sequences - one told from the father's POV and one from the mother's POV- foreshadow this revelation.
I love this beginning (of course, I do since I wrote it!) but have been advised by a few readers (mostly other writers) that I shouldn't begin this way. I realize it breaks many rules: begin with heavy action, keep the same POV throughout etc. But I am reluctant to scrap it because it felt right to me...but am willing to do the old heave-ho if it is truly in the best interest of the work. Mostly I'm afraid that it will turn off the agents I am submitting to if they only read the first chapter or two.
At the moment, I'm thinking of compromising and only including the flashback of the mother. It is shorter more action packed.
Thoughts? Suggestions? I'm desperate to get this right!