Friday, January 15, 2010


Laura Bynum was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1968. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois, and earned an MA in Mass Media and Interpersonal Communications from Eastern Illinois University. In 2006 she attended the Maui Writer’s Conference and was awarded its top prize — the Rupert Hughes Prose Award — for an early draft of Veracity.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Veracity, her debut novel, and reported the following:
On page 69, Harper has come back to work after having lost rights to her child. It was part of the plan. She had to prove herself unfit and have her daughter removed to the custody of strangers in order to join the underground resistance without putting the girl in danger. But the cost has proven too high. Harper doesn’t think she can go through with her recruitment, as we see in her discussion with Evans, a mailman who works in the Murdon Building and who’s also a courier for the resistance:
“You’ve had a lot of visitors today,” he says. “I hope you don’t mind one more.”

I unplug my earphones. Turn off my computer. For kind Evans, I lie, “I don’t mind.”

He puts a hand on my shoulder. Wants me to look at him when he talks. “Miss Adams, I’ve come to make sure you’re still planning that trip we talked about earlier this summer. The one to Chesney.”
I pat Evans’s hand, still on my shoulder. His skin is loose. It slides over the bones as if not attached. “I’m sorry. I’ve changed my mind about a vacation this year.”

. Evans smiles sorrowfully at our use of such a term. What we’re discussing is just the opposite. “Oh, Miss Adams.”

I shake my head. “I don’t think I could enjoy it.”

“That’s not always why someone takes a vacation, is it? Some of the best things I’ve done in my life have been done on vacation.”

I grab my purse, my keys that are already out on my desk. “Good night, Evans.” I leave without looking back. “Thank you anyway.”

I drive to the grocery store and go straight to the liquor aisle. It’s become my routine.
On the next page, Harper is picking out her choice of liquid salve when her recruiter appears. While maintaining his anonymity, he escorts Harper out of the store and into the quiet of the back alley where he restores her to her mission with nothing more than a few moments of human touch and understanding.

Aside from being a near-future, dystopian piece about the importance of speech and our part in sorting truth from opinion, Veracity is a love story between a mother and her child. I believe Page 69 is the perfect bird’s eye view of that love.
Browse inside Veracity, and learn more about the book and author at Laura Bynum's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue