Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Skipping a Beat"

Sarah Pekkanen is the author of The Opposite of Me and Skipping a Beat. Her work has been published in People, The Washington Post, USA Today, The New Republic, The Baltimore Sun, Reader's Digest, and Washingtonian, among others. She writes a monthly Erma Bombeck type column for Bethesda Magazine, and has been an on-air contributor to NPR and E! Entertainment's "Gossip Show." She is the winner of a Dateline award and the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Skipping a Beat and reported the following:
Page 69 of Skipping a Beat is representative of the rest of the book in some ways, but not in others. Although my novel is about the marriage of Julia and Michael Dunhill, it weaves in many scenes from their pasts, starting in high school, which is when Julia and Michael - then simply Julie and Mike - first met. They both came from broken families, and page 69 of Skipping a Beat reveals a flashback to Julia's childhood. It's darker than many of the other passages of my novel (which the Washington Post just called "Intelligent, engaging... and delightful" yay!) And yet, in a way, it shows how Julia was shaped. It's a kind of building block of her character - a scene that explains many of her actions in the book.

Skipping a Beat opens with a crisis. Julia's incredibly wealthy husband, Michael, has just collapsed at the head of the table in his company's boardroom. He is revived four minutes and eight seconds later - but he's a different man. He now wants to give away all of their wealth, and change the unspoken rules of their marriage. Julia has three weeks to decide whether to stay with him or leave and begin a new life without Michael. Page 69 explains her choices, in some way. It informs her actions. It's a piece of an important scene, but one that probably isn't the best representative example of the book.
Read an excerpt from Skipping a Beat, and learn more about the book and author at Sarah Pekkanen's website.

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

--Marshal Zeringue