Rosner applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Electric City, and reported the following:
In all honesty I'd never heard of this test before, but as of today I've become a Believer. Fascinating how such a supposedly random detail can produce a perfectly ripe opportunity for encapsulating an entire novel!Visit Elizabeth Rosner's website.
In the case of Electric City, this page is the last of a pivotal chapter in which two of my main characters (the ones soon to be entangled in a sort-of-but-not-quite love triangle) have just been discussing their shared interest in the personal as well as collective history of the town in which they are living. They've met among the stacks of the Public Library, and the ghost of Charles Proteus Steinmetz hovers nearby. He was an eccentric scientist nicknamed "The Wizard of Electric City" and also "Modern Jupiter," for being the first to create artificial lightning in a laboratory back in 1919. Now Martin Longboat, Mohawk grandson of Steinmetz's best friend, and Sophie Levine, daughter of a post-war wave of immigrants and scientists, are considering the ways that the previous year's dramatic power outage (November 9th, 1965) is a portent of darkness and illumination yet to come. Sophie is left holding books in her hands that Martin has just been reading, books about his Mohawk ancestors and about Steinmetz himself.
Here are the two paragraphs from page 69:The reference area of the library darkened behind her as she watched out the front door for her mother's car streaming through the rain. On the way home, passing storefront windows along State Street and the heart of downtown, she was startled to notice so many empty ones with signs saying CLOSING OUT and EVERYTHING MUST GO.
Some disturbances were becoming impossible to ignore. Where every streetlight might have once symbolized new life, the future appeared to be turning upside down. Was this the promise of change made by that blackout, a warning of what else could go wrong? Electric City was flickering and dimming, right in front of her eyes.