Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"Three Story House"

Courtney Miller Santo teaches creative writing at the University of Memphis, where she earned her MFA. She is the author of the novels The Roots of the Olive Tree and the newly released Three Story House.

Santo applied the Page 69 Test to Three Story House and reported the following:
Three Story House is not only the story of the spite house the three cousins are working to save, it is also the three individual stories of the cousins. On page 69, the reader gets a taste of the dual aspect of the novel as the women explore the cupola, which perches on top of the home.
They made Elyse go first since she put up a fuss about climbing the backless stairs. Isobel followed, carrying a broom. Lizzie had tried to warn them how small the space was, but when she finally made it up the stairs, she found Elyse marveling that by stretching her arms, she could touch all sides of the cupola. Behind them a second room expanded the area beyond the telephone booth-like space that the stairs opened into. The larger room had a barn door on rollers and window seats. There were a few cast-off items littering the floor, including a smaller replica of Spite House that, if she remembered correctly had once been a mailbox. The prisms that were so much a part of Lizzie’s childhood remained in place. Isobel pushed through both rooms, spilling out onto the roof with the relief of someone who didn’t like small spaces.
You have each of the cousins reacting to the space—Elyse with marvel, Lizzie with nostalgia and Isobel once again determined not to be confined. And there is the clutter of the house’s history complete with a replica of itself. I hope that what reader’s get from this page is a picture of how intertwined these women are with each other and with the house. I want them to root for them to succeed and hate it when they fail.
Learn more about the book and author at Courtney Miller Santo's website.

My Book, The Movie: Three Story House.

Writers Read: Courtney Miller Santo.

--Marshal Zeringue