Monday, May 20, 2013

"Better Food for a Better World"

Born and raised in Redondo Beach, California, Erin McGraw received her MFA at Indiana University and has lived in the Midwest ever since. Along with her husband, the poet Andrew Hudgins, she teaches at the Ohio State University and divides her time between Ohio and Tennessee.

Her newest novel is Better Food for a Better World. Before that she published The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard (a novel), The Good Life (stories), The Baby Tree (a novel), Lies of the Saints (stories, and a New York Times Notable Book for 1996), and Bodies at Sea (stories).

McGraw applied the Page 69 Test to Better Food for a Better World and reported the following:
An idle reader flipping to page 69 of Better Food for a Better World might not know exactly what's going on, but that reader will figure out pretty quickly that something's going on. One of the characters, Sam, is explaining to his co-worker Nancy that absolutely nothing is wrong with him standing alongside pretty, lithe Cecilia in a dark room where Cecilia has been playing her violin. Nancy, no fool, frowns at them and says, "What would you have done if David or Vivy had walked in?" David and Vivy are Sam and Cecilia's spouses. They all work together, and Nancy thought they knew everything about one another, until she stumbled in on this.

Sam smoothly assures Nancy that nothing at all is amiss. No, nothing is peculiar about Cecilia playing her violin for him in the dark. No, sir.

Nancy cries, "Don't you listen at Life Ties?"--Life Ties being the marriage-support group they all belong to. Nancy may be a little lead-footed, but she's trying to prevent what she's sure she sees--Sam and Cecilia plunging into a marriage-wrecking mistake. And Sam and Cecilia don't have the least interest in listening to Nancy. At least not by the bottom of page 69.
Learn more about the book and author at Erin McGraw's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Erin McGraw & Max and Sister.

--Marshal Zeringue