Thursday, February 7, 2019

"I Invited Her In"

Adele Parks was born in Teesside, North East England. Her first novel, Playing Away, was published in 2000, and since then she's well over a dozen international bestsellers, translated into twenty-six languages.

Parks applied the Page 69 Test to her latest novel, I Invited Her In, and reported the following:
I tend to build my stories quite slowly, allowing my readers time to become intimately acquainted with my characters and to become invested in them, understanding of them, warts and all. I get a kick from taking my readers on a journey where initially we are gently moseying along together and then bang, I knock the reader off their feet with what I hope to be a surprising event. My structure is such that I then allow my readers to recover, get up, brush themselves off and then crash - once again, another shocking twist. From about a third of the way in, I hope readers believe my novels race along and that I earn the lovely (although grammatically dubious) adjective – unputdownable. I’m gratified when people compliment me on my believable characters, who they may love and hate in equal measures. Characters need time to become real and important to a reader. Since this is my signature structure, I would say page 69 is not representative of the action that is to come. The characters are still circling around one another, they are subtly climbing inside readers’ heads and insidiously shuffling under their skins too. At this point in the book, everything seems relatively calm and straightforward. Page 69 gives little indication of the emotional complexity, shocks and horrors that are to follow in this twisty tale of blistering revenge.

I Invited Her In is narrated from different viewpoints: mostly Mel’s and Abigail’s but occasionally from other characters too as a way of showing the scale and scope of the impact of the revenge, deceit and betrayal. Page 69 happens to be a part of the book when we are seeing things from Abigail’s point of view. She and Mel are having a traditional English afternoon tea together in Shakespeare’s birth town, Stratford Upon Avon. I guess the most representative thing about this scene is that it’s a typical way for best friends to pass a lovely, indulgent afternoon. Thrilling long-lost-friend Abi is offering tired mum Mel some glitz and luxery. Abi is carefully seducing Mel, not in a sexual sense but in that way a glamourous friend can. “Abi had a talent of bathing those she singled out in a unique sense of importance. She knew the power of her intense interest.”
Visit Adele Parks's website.

--Marshal Zeringue