Saturday, January 17, 2015

"Before I Go"

Colleen Oakley is an Atlanta-based writer. Her articles, essays, and interviews have been featured in the New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Redbook, Parade, and Martha Stewart Weddings. Before she was a freelance writer, Colleen was editor-in-chief of Women’s Health & Fitness and senior editor at Marie Claire.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Before I Go, her debut novel, and reported the following:
At first glance page 69 isn’t a thorough representation of the book — it’s the middle of the scene where my protagonist Daisy and her husband Jack meet with the radiation oncologist to discuss options for treatment for Daisy’s stage 4 cancerous death sentence. It’s pretty serious and somber, without any of the levity or comic relief found throughout the rest of the book. At this point Daisy is convinced the test results must be wrong — that they’re not even hers — while Jack is searching for facts, details, more information.

But upon further reflection, it’s a pretty solid representation of two of the themes in the book — Daisy’s in denial about what’s really happening to her and is hyper-focused on something that’s not relevant. In the book, she’s hyper-focused on finding Jack a new wife. In this scene, she’s hyper-focused on the fact that the test results are inaccurate. Also, Daisy and Jack aren’t on the same page going into this meeting— and struggle to connect throughout the book, even though they have such a close loving, relationship. As cancer can do, it creates a wedge between them, each one dealing with Daisy’s diagnosis in their own way.
Visit Colleen Oakley's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue