Monday, May 12, 2008


Sherri Rifkin, a former TV marketing executive, lives in New York City, where she writes for a variety of entertainment and media clients, including Bravo, USA Network and the Style Network.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, LoveHampton, and reported the following:
If readers cheated just a little by starting at page 68 (I think that’s legal in most states, as long as you’re over 18) of LoveHampton, they would be at the beginning of Chapter 5, “June JuJu,” which when coupled with what happens on page 69, is the point at which protagonist Tori Miller commences her ascension within the Hamptons social scene.

She has just received a pivotal e-mail from one of her new summer housemates, Cassie, known as the “Fashionista Socialista” to Tori and her two best friends/employees, Jimmy and Jerry. The decidedly fabulous yet heretofore elusive Cassie has invited Tori—who is just reentering the world after a two-year long self-imposed “personal hiatus”—to a party in the Hamptons for the coming Saturday night.

Page 69 is definitely representative of the tone of LoveHampton in that it conveys the sense of humor of and rapport between the characters.

“Guess who Cassie just invited to a party on Saturday night?”

“Don’t you mean the Fashionista Socialista on whom you have a secret Sapphic crush?” Jimmy, holding a fresh cup of coffee, comes up behind me to peer over my shoulder at my computer.

“I do not.” I minimize the email screen before he gets a chance to read it.

“OK, right. You just rave on and on about how effortlessly gorgeous she is and how fabulous her clothes are and how she’s always dashing off to dinner parties and how handsome, debonair men are constantly falling at her feet because you don’t have a mad crush on her.”

But what this page doesn’t fully communicate is the heart of the book—which is Tori’s struggle with her own sense of self, where she fits (and where she doesn’t) and with whom. Tori has joined this house without knowing anyone, which has inadvertently given her a unique opportunity to reinvent herself and more importantly, discover who she really is.

I chose the backdrop of a summer share house in the Hamptons because it provided an exaggerated yet concentrated social scenario for someone who was uncertain about her personal identity to try on being someone else for size for a few months. Whether or not someone has been to, knows or cares about the Hamptons, I think most everyone has had an experience in their lives when they went somewhere or did something new without knowing a soul, e.g. attending college, moving to a new city or even starting a new job. Of course, not everyone takes that opportunity to reinvent themselves or try being someone they’re not, but that’s not to say that perhaps the idea hadn’t entered their mind, even if only for a second…which intrigued me as a writer and hopefully will do the same for potential readers of LoveHampton.
Read an excerpt from LoveHampton, and learn more about the author and her work at Sherri Rifkin's website and her blog.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue