Monday, August 13, 2018

"The Family Tabor"

Cherise Wolas is the author of The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, a semifinalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Debut Fiction Prize, an Indie Next Great Reads Pick, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, named a Best Novel and Best Debut Novel of the year by Kirkus Reviews, named a Top 10 novel of 2017 by Booklist, in addition to receiving among many other accolades.

Wolas applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Family Tabor, and reported the following:
From page 69:
Simon has Elena.

Camille has Valentine.

They are cozy in love, and it spears her straight through, skewers her heart.

Why is she the crescent moon waning when her siblings seem always to be waxing?

Her mother says Phoebe’s the kind of woman men do not quickly release, and boys from various stages of her life still occasionally beat their man-sized wings in her direction, raising the air around her, blowing the dust off their joint old times, a checking-in, a checking-up, wanting to know if Phoebe has allowed someone to stick, to roost—not them, they know, though they had all tried hard.

But her mother also says that the men from Phoebe’s past will always hang on, because she gave them up in the limerence phase, when romantic euphoria is at its peak. Maybe her mother is right; maybe that’s why she has no flesh-and-blood man, only the perfect golem she dreamt up.
Over a gorgeous August weekend, patriarch Harry Tabor will be named Man of the Decade at an enormous gala. Of course, the entire family will be at the hometown celebration in Palm Springs. The Tabors are brilliant, accomplished, and worldly. They glow. They are lucky. They are golden. They seem free of lurking dark truths. But the adult children, Phoebe, Camille, and Simon, are privately struggling, each seeking something we all want—love or clarity or the belief we’re living our right life.

At this point, we’ve seen Phoebe through the eyes of her mother Roma, but here, in Chapter Seven, we’re meeting Phoebe herself as she packs for the celebratory weekend honoring her father, and then engages with Raquel, the neighbor cat-sitting for her. While Raquel natters away, this section of page 69 continues Phoebe’s intense thoughts about her desperate desire to find love. Her sister and brother have what she wants, and there is a hint, unexplained, that she considers herself responsible for her loveless state. [T]he perfect golem she dreamt up refers to a truth about Phoebe the reader now knows, but I won’t give away here.

Page 69 is specifically about Phoebe, but is representative of the novel’s "Good Samaritan" section. These early chapters individually highlight the Tabors, and reveal, or begin to reveal, their personal secrets. And the revelations of these secrets will reverberate in unexpected ways through the novel.
Visit Cherise Wolas's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Resurrection of Joan Ashby.

--Marshal Zeringue