Monday, February 4, 2019

"Kith and Kin"

Jane A. Adams is a British writer of psychological thrillers. Her first book, The Greenway, was nominated for a CWA John Creasey Award in 1995 and an Author's Club Best First Novel Award. She has a degree in Sociology and was once lead vocalist in a folk rock band.

Adams applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Kith and Kin, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Kith and Kin finds Henry at his sister’s house, discussing European politics and, more particularly, what is happening in Germany in late 1928, with his brother in law. Cynthia, Henry’s sister, practically raised him after their parents died, she is still a massive influence in her brother’s life.

The character of Cynthia is undoubtedly influenced by the women I grew up around. Aunts and great aunts who had survived the great depression, experienced at least one and often two world wars and who were possessed of great determination, courage and intelligence. They had very little time to spare for men who would not or could not respect that.

I attended an all-female grammar school and the women there were also self-determined, politically and socially aware and tried to instil those values into us. At the time, I probably didn’t appreciate any of this! But I’ve come to understand that I had a number of very important role models, growing up, many of whom would have been contemporaries of Cynthia.

So, how does this scene fit into the book? It’s a pause in the investigation, a time to look at the wider context of the times, to establish political and social structures and to see something of Cynthia’s household and learn both a bit more about Henry’s past and current world events. A page or so later, Henry is on the foreshore of the Thames, examining yet another body and the book is back into investigation mode.
Visit Jane A. Adams's website.

--Marshal Zeringue