Sunday, March 22, 2015

"Golden State"

Stephanie Kegan is the author of Golden State, recently named by People Magazine as one of “The Best New Books” and Entertainment Weekly as one of “The Top 10 Things We Love This Week.”

She applied the Page 69 Test to Golden State and reported the following:
Golden State tells the story of Natalie Askedahl an everyday wife and mother, who discovers her adored older brother may be a terrorist wanted by the FBI for a string of lethal bombings. When her brother is arrested, she is thrust into overnight notoriety. With reporters camped on her doorstep, she is forced to make decisions that pit her loyalty to her brother against her need to protect her own family. As her life splits permanently into before and after, Natalie begins to understand that some of the most dangerous things in the world are the stories we tell ourselves.

From page 69:
(My plate) went flying. I saw the wine shoot from my glass. Someone asked if I was all right. I got up carefully, afraid that I wasn’t, then saw the dark stains on the overstuffed white chair, the splattered food. Guests were already springing from their seats to perform triage.

I knelt to pick up my plate, and tried to wipe the seafood curry off the Persian rug with my hand. When I stood, I saw Julia staring at me from a corner of the room. I opened my mouth to say something to her, I wasn’t sure what, but she bolted, a hand over her face.
Page 69, while largely unrepresentative of the rest of the book, is still is a part of the whole. On this page Natalie knows the FBI is secretly investigating her brother, and she is trying to carry on her normal life under the weight of that burden. She is with her husband and two daughters, aged eight and fifteen, at a party at the home of her wealthy in-laws. Natalie is carrying a plate of food from the dining room to the den, a step down. She doesn’t know how she missed the step. She is, of course, mortified when she falls into the room, the contents of her plate landing all over the elegant furniture. Worse, her fifteen year old daughter Julia is a witness to her stumble. The moment is both mundane and fraught. Two pages later, Natalie will witness her brother being arrested on national television. Her former life shattered, she will be confronted with a horrific choice that will propel her into a nightmare of confusion, lies and betrayals.
Visit Stephanie Kegan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue