Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Real Life & Liars"

Kristina Riggle lives and writes in West Michigan. She has published short stories in the Cimarron Review, Literary Mama, Espresso Fiction, and elsewhere. She is also a freelance journalist writing primarily for The Grand Rapids Press, and co-editor for fiction at Literary Mama.

She applied the “Page 69 Test” to her debut novel, Real Life & Liars, and reported the following:
My page 69 is simple as could be. It reads: "Part 2 -- Celebration."

The three parts of my book are: Homecoming, Celebration, Departure, and together with the cover image of the open door, suitcases, and jacket tossed over the banister, speak of one pivotal weekend after which nothing can be the same again. Read in isolation, one might think "Celebration" denotes a happy time, but my use of it is ironic. It's an anniversary party, but the guests of honor are burdened with a secret and their grown kids' lives are falling apart around them.

Yet, in other ways, "Celebration" is apt enough. Fellow author Allison Winn Scotch called my book "a must-read for anyone who has ever been both grateful and driven mad by the people they love most: their family." Despite the travails of the Zielinskis, this book in a sense celebrates family as a source of support as well as heartache.

The book's epigraph quotes Tolstoy's Anna Karenina: "All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Real Life & Liars tells the story of one of these unique families, who might not be one of those boring happy clans, but nor are the Zielinskis a lost cause.
Browse inside Real Life & Liars, and learn more about the book and author at Kristina Riggle's website.

Writers Read: Kristina Riggle.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue