They applied the Page 69 Test to their new novel, Maybe a Fox, and reported the following:
From page 69:Visit Kathi Appelt's website and Alison McGhee's website.The sheriff sat down at their kitchen table. “There’s nothing, Chess,” he said. There was not a single article of her clothing, either. No boots. No headband. No single orange mitten. No pajamas. Nothing.As it turns out, this small section on page 69 of Maybe a Fox shines a light on everything that Jules, one of the main characters, wants to believe. As long as her missing sister, Sylvie, remains unfound, then she can hold onto a shimmery hope that maybe, just maybe, she’s still out there, that maybe the worst hasn’t happened, that maybe there’s something that has been overlooked.
“We’ll keep looking,” Jules heard the sheriff say.
A small bead of hope filled Jules’s chest. They’d dragged the river. They hadn’t found anything. They hadn’t. As long as they hadn’t found Sylvie in the river, she could still be alive, couldn’t she?
But where? And what about the hounds? Wouldn’t they be able to track her? As if in answer, the sheriff said, “Hard to track on snow, especially after it’s melted.”
Of course, the worst has happened. We can see it in the demeanor of the sheriff, in his unwillingness to offer up any possibilities for a different outcome. We know for certain that Sylvie is gone when he answers Jules’s unasked question about the hounds, as if he’s reading her mind.
And yet, this piece is also filled up with “maybe’s.” And that’s at least one of the primary points of this book—in the maybe’s there are possibilities. This story is filled up with questions that have no real answers. And yet, it’s also filled with possibilities, and that’s what we see in Jules here. As long as she has questions, there are surely answers, even if they’re not the ones we were expecting.