Nevill applied the Page 69 Test to his latest novel, The House of Small Shadows, and reported the following:
Page 69 in The House of Small Shadows is right in the middle of a scene in which the lead character, Catherine Howard, an antiques dealer, breaks up with her boyfriend; a man she considered a significant part of her future. A couple of pages later, she’s disoriented with shock and grief. It’s the only break-up scene I have ever written, but in no way is the novel a romantic story – it is a story about terror and enchantment. On this page, and in this scene, there are no preserved and uniformed rats arranged in dioramas depicting horrific battles in the Great War, no ghastly puppets with a long and disturbing history, no scented dolls, the eccentric Edith Mason does not appear, and nor does the magnificent Red House that protects Edith and her treasures. So, although the page 69 scene may not appear representative, it features one of several significant triggers that blur, then break down, the barriers between reality, sanity and nightmare for Catherine Howard. And as for the boyfriend, the old adage says that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but readers may come to believe there is a more terrible fury, and that’s the one enacted on a scorned woman’s behalf by something as cruel and yet innocent as a child.Learn more about the book and author at Adam Nevill's website.