Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Point, Click, Love"

Molly Shapiro is the author of Eternal City, winner of the Willa Cather Fiction Prize. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown and a master’s degree in creative writing from Columbia.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Point, Click, Love, and reported the following:
I’m happy to report that page 69 of Point, Click, Love is totally representative of the book. It’s the scene where Katie, one of the four main characters, is on her first date with a man she met online named Ed. Katie is a 34-year-old divorcee with two small children who’s reluctantly decided to go to an Internet dating site to satisfy her need for male companionship of the physical nature.

Ed is older than Katie, kind of aggressive, and already appears to be quite enamored with her. Katie hasn’t yet let her guard down, and is maintaining somewhat of a sarcastic distance from her suitor.
“So, Katie,” said Ed. “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what are you looking for from”

Katie hadn’t prepared for this type of question. She felt like a contestant on The Bachelor, being asked if she was “there for the right reasons.” Katie had a feeling that “needing to have sex” was not “the right reason” for a woman of her age to go on, so she figured she should say something more innocuous. “I don’t know. I guess I’m just looking to meet new people.”
When Katie asks Ed why he’s on, he says he’s looking to meet single women, but always holds out hope that he might find “The One.”
The One? Katie was a bit taken aback by this forty-six-year-old man with graying hair talking about finding The One. Having already found and dispensed with her first “One,” Katie no longer believed in that little fantasy. There was “That One,” and then there was “The Other One,” and maybe, if she was lucky, there would be “Yet Another One.”

“Good luck to you now,” said Katie, lifting her cosmo and taking a swig.

“Are you really so cynical?” asked Ed.

“Of course not!” said Katie with mock indignation. “Just because I spent my entire adult life with one man thinking he was the love of my life and now I’m a 30-something on a first date with a guy I met online, why would I be cynical?”
I love Katie because, on one hand, she’s wise to all the crap that guys like Ed shovel out, but on the other, deep down she is looking for more than just sex—she’s looking for love like everyone else out there. It’s fun to see how Katie’s attitude toward this whole online dating adventure changes as she confronts a string of men who bring her joy, grief, annoyance and, potentially, love.
Learn more about the book and author at Molly Shapiro's website.

--Marshal Zeringue