Friday, April 30, 2010

"The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors"

Michele Young-Stone earned her MFA in fiction writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. Once, many years ago, she was struck by lightning in her driveway. She survived.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, and reported the following:
Surprisingly enough, I think page 69 thematically captures much of The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors. Even though neither of the main characters is mentioned on this page, one of the main character’s mother, Abigail, is discussed:
In the last year, Abigail had lost one hundred and twenty pounds. One year married, she was miserable. She wore long-sleeved shirts and long pants despite the Arkansas heat to hide her sagging skin, and she was determined more than ever to save enough money to leave John Whitehouse and her mother, Winter Pitank, behind. She was going to take Buckley and move away from Mont Blanc, Arkansas. She wanted to see the ocean.
The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors is about starting over, never giving up—being a survivor.
The past, like the slop she inspected, sped by, can after can and memory after memory, making her wonder if forgetfulness wasn’t a blessing.
Lightning strike victims often suffer memory loss, and another theme relevant to the novel is: Letting go of the past so we can move forward and live our lives fully, free of blame and regret. The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors is about maintaining and/or finding hope in the bleakest of circumstances.
Read an excerpt from The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, and learn more about the book and author at Michele Young-Stone's website and blog.

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

--Marshal Zeringue