Egan applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Julia Vanishes, and reported the following:
From page 69:Visit Catherine Egan's website.When I get to the library with coffee for Frederick, wondering if it is more painful to sit there and pretend to read poorly or to clean the inside of the grandfather clock on the landing, he is wearing his coat and putting a piece of paper into the pocket.This scene, at the opening of chapter 5, shows Julia at work pretending to be an illiterate housemaid in Mrs. Och’s grand house, and trying to persuade a principled young scholar in the house to let her run an errand that will further her mission as a spy. It’s a fairly quiet moment building towards more dramatic revelations. Julia eventually figures out that she’s working for the wrong side, but by the time she knows her employer’s ultimate goal, it’s too late to back out. It’s not a high-drama point in the book but I hope a reader skimming this scene would want to follow the intrigue and see why Julia is so eager to run Frederick’s errands for him!
“Oh,” I say, feigning disappointment. “Are we not reading today?”
He looks up as if I’ve startled him, but he always looks that way.
“I’m so sorry, Ella – I’ve got to run an errand for the professor,” he says. The way he says it, a little grudgingly, I smell an opportunity.
“Let me do it,” I say. “Heaven knows you have more than enough to do as it is.”
He grins. “That’s kind, Ella. But really, I must go. It’s a ways from here.”
“All the more reason you ought to let me go,” I press.