The opening of Bolt demonstrated something that I'd learned on Another Woman's Husband: we need to know characters before we care what happens to them. It doesn't matter how dramatic or noisy or extreme the action is, if we don't know, we don't care. I don't want to sound disrespectful, but while I'm shocked by what's happened in Haiti, and like everyone I've donated money, I haven't lost sleep over it. I don't know any of those poor people personally so I can only care in the abstract.
Originally, Another Woman's Husband started with Becca's mother, June, announcing that after fifty years of marriage she's decided to leave Becca's father, Frank. It's a dramatic moment, and shocking for Becca. But as the reader doesn't know Becca, or June, or Frank, the reader couldn't care less. So the novel now starts at June and Frank's golden wedding anniversary party so the reader sees all the main characters in a happy, normal setting, gets to know them and hopefully cares a little about them before June makes her announcement.
One of the standard 'rules' about writing is to start in the middle of things - in media res - but sometimes you have to start just before then, or the reader is as indifferent as I was to Bolt's heroics.