Friday, January 10, 2020

"Purgatory Bay"

Bryan Gruley is the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Bleak Harbor and the award-winning Starvation Lake trilogy of novels. He is also a lifelong journalist who is proud to have shared in the Pulitzer Prize awarded to the staff of the Wall Street Journal for their coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Gruley applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Purgatory Bay, which is set in the same fictional Michigan town as Bleak Harbor, and reported the following:
Purgatory Bay is about a young woman named Jubilee Rathman who lives as a virtual recluse on a private bay near the town of Bleak Harbor, Michigan. She’s executing a diabolical plan to punish people she blames for ruining her life.

Page 69 recounts how and why Jubilee wound up in her bayside fortress with the help of her dead family’s attorney, E. Jonathan Phillips, or Phillie, as she calls him. The page is useful in several ways. We learn how a 29-year-old woman could afford such a property. We see how Phillie has become the one person outside her fortress playing a role in her life. The latter will become much more important later in the story.

The page reinforces Jubilee’s self-imposed isolation: “She had nothing against the townspeople of Bleak Harbor that she didn’t have against almost any other human being. She just didn’t belong with others anymore.” And the heartbreaking recollection of how she dispensed with her glorious soccer past underscores the depth of her disaffection and, chillingly, of her commitment to her terrible mission.
Learn more about the book and author at Bryan Gruley's website.

--Marshal Zeringue