Thursday, August 9, 2012

"The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns"

Margaret Dilloway was inspired by her Japanese mother's experiences when she wrote The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, and especially by a book her father had given to her mother called The American Way of Housekeeping.

She applied the Page 69 Test to The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, and reported the following:
Page 69 is a short page, the beginning of a chapter. It finds my character, Gal Garner, at the end of a tutoring session with her students. Though it has nothing to do with the roses that have a strong theme in much of the book, the page shows several important Gal-elements:
  • Her sort of curmudgeonly attitude
  • Her illness
  • Her fear of talking to other people and asking for help
  • Her attraction to Mr. Morton, which she denies to herself repeatedly
Here’s part of page 69:
I am going to Mr. Morton’s room. Tomorrow the Science Olympiad team meets, and I will ask him to be the other coach. Though he is brand-new and he could be the worst teacher on the planet for all I know, I cannot handle the team alone anymore. Last month, I had to cancel two practices due to my own illness. Though I was fine moments before, I shiver and pull my cardigan closer around myself. It’s too cold in here with all the students gone. My heart rate increases. I realize I am nervous about asking him to help me out.
I’d want to keep reading, to find out more about what’s going to happen next. Why does talking to Mr. Morton make her so anxious? What’s wrong with her health? She seems lonely to me here—“It’s too cold in here with all the students gone,” yet resistant to seeking out interaction.
Learn more about the book and author at Margaret Dilloway's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns.

--Marshal Zeringue