Sunday, June 23, 2019

"The Perfect Fraud"

Ellen LaCorte worked for many years in human resources. She now writes full time from her home where she lives with her husband in Titusville, New Jersey. She is the mother of two grown sons.

LaCorte applied the Page 69 Test to her debut novel, The Perfect Fraud, and reported the following:
Claire Hathaway fakes her way through her job as a psychic. Her mother is the real deal. On page 69, Claire Hathaway has returned home because her father is gravely ill. This is heartbreaking for Claire but it also puts her right back into what she’s worked her adult life to escape—trying to keep her mother from dissolving into an emotional disaster.
“What time’s the operation?” I ask my mother as she maneuvers the car out of the parking lot.

Adjusting the rearview mirror, she says, “As long as he remains stable during the night, they’re planning for eight-thirty.”

“Early. That’s good.”

When did this stiltedness between us become entrenched? Unless my mother is unloading her anxiety on me via psychic vision or through nutritional advice—more of a monologue on her part than a two-way exchange—our conversations are mostly superficial and perfunctory. It feels like we both have to carefully consider what we’re going to say, as if we were strangers who’d met in the grocery line, marking time until our turns at the register by discussing the pros and cons of firm or extra-firm tofu.
This excerpt from page 69 defines one of Claire’s major issues in the novel, that is, how to reconcile her relationship with her mother who had burdened Claire with responsibilities no young child should have had to take on. This has left Claire with a heightened sense of guilt and an extreme reluctance to take on any responsibility.

Until she is forced to.

When Claire meets Rena, a mother with a very sick child, she must decide whether or not to become involved. Claire has doubts about her psychic skills and is not sure how she can or if she will help, but a little girl’s fate may be in her hands.
Visit Ellen LaCorte's website.

--Marshal Zeringue