Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"There Will Come a Time"

Carrie Arcos is the author of There Will Come a Time and Out of Reach, which was a National Book Award Finalist. She lives with her family in Los Angeles, California.

Arcos applied the Page 69 Test to There Will Come a Time and reported the following:
There Will Come a Time is a story about how one deals with grief. It follows seventeen-year-old Mark as he navigates his heart and his relationships while fighting survivor’s guilt and understanding how to live without the twin he lost to a car accident. Are you still even a twin when your twin dies?

On page 69, you find Mark sitting down for a Saturday morning breakfast with his parents and younger sister. It begins with some tension—a text unanswered and an empty chair…
I wait a few minutes. Nothing. I think about sending another text, but I smell bacon. It’s enough to get me to throw on some clothes and go downstairs. Everyone’s sitting at the table in the kitchen nook. I don’t look at the empty chair in the corner, but I know it’s there.
The empty chair at the end of the first paragraph is significant. Readers will want to know whose chair was it? Why does Mark avoid it? This plays throughout the rest of the scene because it is about a family who is trying to move forward after a terrible loss—the death of a sister and a daughter. The chair is Grace’s chair, his twin’s.

What page 69 shows is that Mark is part of a family. He is not alone, though he has felt very alone in his grief over the death of Grace, especially since he was the one driving the car in the accident that killed her. One of the changes his character must make over the course of the novel is to realize that he is not the only one who is grieving. This page is a good set up in revealing the relationships that he has tried to keep at bay and the push and pull of his family wanting to engage and Mark not knowing how.
Visit Carrie Arcos's website.

--Marshal Zeringue