McNeal applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Incident on the Bridge, and reported the following:
Page 69 is the last page of an expository scene in which Fen Harris, who has just moved to Coronado, takes a sailing lesson. Fen has no knowledge of sailing terms, but his uncle has signed him up for a private class with an Olympic-level coach and has implied that Fen has some experience with boats. I don’t think this would be the best place for a reader to pop into the narrative, but it does contain kernels of Fen’s predicament as a newcomer. I was keenly aware, as I was writing about Fen’s sailing lesson, of how hard it is both to learn a new skill—I’ve taken sailing lessons myself, to mortifying effect--and to keep your dignity when you’re bad at something. You can learn everything you need to know about the pain of growing up by watching an adolescent try a new sport in front of his or her peers.Visit Laura McNeal's website.