Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Garden of Stones"

Sophie Littlefield grew up in rural Missouri. She writes the post-apocalyptic Aftertime series for LUNA Books. She also writes paranormal fiction for young adults. Her first novel, A Bad Day for Sorry, won an Anthony Award for Best First Novel and an RT Award for Best First Mystery. It was also shortlisted for Edgar, Barry, Crimespree and Macavity Awards, and it was named to lists of the year's best mystery debuts by the Chicago Sun-Times and South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Littlefield applied the Page 69 Test to her latest novel, Garden of Stones,  and reported the following:
From page 69:
Back in their house on Clement Street, night was the music of a small ensemble. The ticking of the furnace, the groaning of the old walls settling on their foundation, branches from the cherry tree scratching her window when the wind blew, and the squeaking of the floorboards and flush of the toilet when her parents got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. All these sounds blended together in a familiar way, soothing Lucy back to sleep whenever she woke.
This bit of introspection takes place on the first night that 14-year-old Lucy Takeda spends in a Japanese internment camp. I had tried to imagine what it would be like for a young girl to find herself in such unfamiliar and unwelcome environment, and I thought she would focus on memories of home. The description is based on my own memories of night sounds in the house I grew up in. I found the familiar noises reassuring on nights when I was worried or scared, and I thought Lucy might feel the same way.

In the camp barracks, it was never quiet. Living quarters were separated by dividers that didn’t reach the ceiling, and sounds traveled throughout the building. In personal accounts, those who were interned tell about being forced to listen to their neighbors’ most private moments - grief and despair and lovemaking and whispered conversations. The lack of privacy was devastating. But the first night, perhaps it was a comfort to know that others shared your fate, only a few feet away.
Learn more about the book and author at Sophie Littlefield's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue