Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Park Lane"

Frances Osborne was born in London and studied philosophy and modern languages at Oxford University. She is the author of Lilla’s Feast and The Bolter, a San Francisco Chronicle's Book of the Year and No.1 bestseller in the UK. Her articles have appeared in The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, the Daily Mail, and Vogue. She lives in London with her husband, George Osborne, and their two children.

Osborne applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Park Lane, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Park Lane is where we first see radical Edwardian politics knocking aside rigid class boundaries to bring two very unlikely people together. This place in the novel is an important turning point for both the plot as a whole, and all three of the principal characters. What happens in this scene will set the three of them on a collision course.

On page 69, we are seeing events through the eyes of disillusioned debutante Beatrice Masters. She has been persuaded by her charismatic aunt, Celeste, to be daring enough to go and hear militant suffragette leader Mrs Pankhurst speak at a rally. Mrs Pankhurst has mesmerized Bea and made her want to do anything for her. However when the rally descends into violence and Bea is separated from Celeste, she learns that rule-breaking comes with risks attached. She must decide whether to embrace those risks.

Here Bea has escaped from the mob, only to find herself in yet more unfamiliar circumstances - with a strange man from a very different background. Although he has rescued her, he is now almost ignoring her. Bea is growing increasingly frustrated by the fact this man appears impervious to the charms that she is very much aware she has. She realizes that if she is going to escape the narrow confines of her life then she must be prepared to enter an unpredictable world.

As for how page 69 will set Beatrice on a collision course with housemaid Grace and her brooding brother, Michael, whom she is deceiving, you will have to read on.
Learn more about the book and author at Frances Osborne's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Bolter.

--Marshal Zeringue