Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Passing Love"

Jacqueline E. Luckett worked in sales for Xerox for twenty years. During that time she married, raised a family, and took creative writing classes where she reignited her love of writing.

In 2004, she formed the Finish Party (featured in O Magazine, October 2007) along with seven other women writers-of-color. She calls these outstanding women her mentors and advisors, her friends and the toughest (and most loving) readers around.

Luckett applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Passing Love, and reported the following:
In Passing Love two women believe that going to Paris will change their lives. The story moves back and forth between the present day and the jazz-fueled Paris of the 1950s.

A quick scan of page 69 doesn’t give the reader a sense of Passing Love’s story nor does it suggest the other important character from the past, Ruby. The scene introduces Nicole’s sadness over her father’s illness. Her father’s conversation with his neurologist is one key to her frustration; it’s only part of the story.
“What’s the day and the year, Mr. Handy?”

Squire screwed up his face and peered straight at the neurologist.

“Let’s see. The Giants won the pennant in 2002. Beat Atlanta in the playoffs, then they beat the Cardinals.”

Nicole pushed her hands against her chair’s thin armrests until they creaked—March 2008—and silently commanded her father: read my mind, Daddy.
Near the end of the page, Nicole tries to explain a photo she found in a small antique store in Paris. Her father’s inability to respond to her questions is as disturbing as his inability to answer the doctor’s questions.
“…I found a picture of you in a book…and you wrote on the back of it…remember?”

From the other side of the street a blue-eyed cat scurried toward Nicole. The cat meowed and settled near her feet.

“I hear a cat,” Squire announced. “Never lock eyes with a blue-eyed cat.”
Her father’s inability to answer her question is part of a secret. Whether the cat is prophetic, or not, requires turning the page. It’s the photo that presents itself as a mystery that I’m hoping will engage the reader and cause her/him to buy the novel.
Learn more about the book and author at Jacqueline E. Luckett's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue