Monday, May 11, 2015

"Love and Miss Communication"

Elyssa Friedland graduated from Columbia University School of Law in 2007 and subsequently worked as an associate at a major firm.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Love and Miss Communication, her debut novel, and reported the following:
This page focuses on my main character Evie Rosen’s relationship with her family, specifically her mother Fran. Evie’s father died when she was in college and within a year her mother Fran had met her second husband. Evie, on the other hand, is far from settled on the romantic front and has a hard time explaining to her not-so-technologically-savvy mother about modern dating (i.e. swiping for dates).

Here’s a passage:
It was Evie who felt alone. But how much could she discuss dating, loneliness, and sex in the twenty-first century with Fran? Heaven forbid her mother knew Evie was accepting dates requested via text minutes in the form of “U free 2nite? Want 2 hang?” The mention of Tinder would have her picturing fireplaces.
The more nuanced relationship in the book is actually between Evie and her grandmother, Bette. Bette is a classic, meddling bubbe, and she considers her granddaughter’s single status to be a major cause for concern, going so far as to feebly cough and suggest to Evie that she’s not going to be around forever so why not hurry up and get married already.

What I like about page 69 is the focus on the texting and the Internet. Evie does the unthinkable in the book, she gives up the Internet and texting for an entire year, and the story revolves around how making that drastic move affects her friendships, her career and her love life. And the above passage hits on the realities of what it’s like to a single girl nowadays. Getting a guy to pick up a phone and call is considered prehistoric. Emoticons pass for genuine emotion. And while meeting people and keeping in touch has never been easier thanks to social media, paradoxically, loneliness of a new variety is simultaneously peaking.

I think readers of page 69 will want to keep reading. They will find themselves relating to Evie’s complicated relationship with her mother because it represents the classic generational divide. And they will evaluate the way texting and the Internet have changed communication and reflect on its impact on their own relationships.

So yes, I think page 69 is a pretty good representation of my book. It isn’t really as funny as other parts, but it does get to the soul of the novel.
Visit Elyssa Friedland's website.

--Marshal Zeringue