Sunday, April 27, 2014

"A Paris Apartment"

Michelle Gable graduated from The College of William & Mary. When not dreaming up fiction on the sly, she currently resides in Cardiff by the Sea, California, with her husband and two daughters.

Gable applied the Page 69 Test to The Paris Apartment, her first novel, and reported the following:
In the early pages of A Paris Apartment, Sotheby’s furniture expert April Vogt has decamped to Paris, ostensibly to sort through a treasure-stocked apartment previously locked for seventy years. But her job is merely an excuse. April is all-too-happy to escape New York and the personal problems she thinks she can leave stateside.

Page 69 is the start of a new chapter, literally and figuratively. April wakes up in a foreign city, groggy and spent but already enraptured by Paris and the gilded past she’s begun to uncover. She fell asleep reading the personal journals of Belle Epoque courtesan Marthe de Florian, these diaries the most priceless of the riches found in the apartment. The page is a perfect glimpse into April’s current state as well as the world she is starting to slip into:
When the sun exploded across her face, she sprang to sitting. She was disoriented, her head full of cancan dancers and elephants. She half-expected to see a fleshy, sweaty man snoring beside her. It took April several minutes to remember her name and what country she was in. She'd blame the jet lag, but it was really more the fault of a good French burgundy, plus a healthy dose of Marthe.
Having woken from dreams of elephants and cancan dancers, April looks in the mirror to see “haggard-beast hair, purple-tinged teeth, and crumpled clothes she first put on two days ago on some other continent.” Externally and internally she’s bedraggled, but she’s starting to see a glimmer of something special on the horizon.

Plus, April is in a city which previously provided her solace and, ultimately, love. She’s been away for many years but Paris feels like home.
“Home.” It was a curious word for a place she’d only entered a few hours ago. Still, it was more home to her than the apartment in Manhattan, the one with her name on the deed.
A reader picking up the book and turning to page 69 would instantly sense April sits on a border, a divide between two worlds. Her current problems are evident and it’s clear she will soon be swept away by Marthe’s story and the city of Paris itself.
Visit Michelle Gable's website.

--Marshal Zeringue