Friday, September 9, 2011

"Good Graces"

Lesley Kagen is the author of Whistling in the Dark, Land of a Hundred Wonders, Tomorrow River and Good Graces.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Good Graces and reported the following:
In Good Graces, this page gives the reader a good sense of the O'Malley sisters' character: younger sister Troo's acting out, and the big-heartedness of eleven year old narrator, Sally. The page also captures some of the feel of the blue collar Milwaukee neighborhood and the time period.

The girls are walking down Vliet Street on their way to the Five and Dime, talking over their plans for the upcoming Fourth of July:
"What I'm doin' is for me to know and for you to find out," she says with a flip of her ponytail. "But I'll tell you one thing, I'm gonna win that decoratin' prize this year hands down. No ties. And I'm gonna be Queen of the Playgournd again, the same way I was the first year we moved here." She starts up the game for real very loudly, "A my name is Annie and I come from..."

"Whatever you're doin', you better get busy. Time's runnin' out," I tell her when we come to the front of the Kenfields' house.

When we first moved into the city, it was into the house next door. Late at night horrible sounds would come out of a bedroom that was across from mine and Troo's. I thought the place was haunted and I guess in a way it was. Mr. Kenfield would moan into his daughter's pillow that probably still had the smell of his precious girl's perfume hidden in the seams the same way that Daddy's blue shirt still has Aqua Velva. After he was cried dry, he would go sit on the front porch of his house and smoke his Pall Malls, rocking until the church bells rang twelve midnight. After Mother went into the hospital, some nights after Troo would fall asleep and I was sure that Hall had passed out, I'd slip outta our bed and go sit with our neighbor. We didn't talk much. We held hands and listened to the creaky sound the porch swing made. I'd like to do that again, but I'm not sure Mr. Kenfield would. Sometime between last summer and this one, he got a reputation for being the neighborhood crank.
Learn more about the book and author at Lesley Kagen's website.

My Book, The Movie: Good Graces.

Writers Read: Lesley Kagen.

--Marshal Zeringue