Saturday, January 4, 2020

"Three Things I Know Are True"

Betty Culley lives in central Maine, where the rivers run through the small towns. She tends a young crabapple orchard and waits all year for the spring blooms! She’s an RN who worked as an obstetrics nurse and as a pediatric home hospice nurse.

Culley applied the Page 69 Test to Three Things I Know Are True, her debut novel, and reported the following:
From page 69:
I suppose if I had the
sheet music, I could.

My brother Jonah
always liked to listen
to the fiddlers
at the fair.

See, I learned something else
at the soup kitchen.
makes a bad situation
All the poems in this verse novel have titles and page 69 is the end of a section called Fiddle Music. Liv, 15, the main character and narrator, is working at a soup kitchen, (as a punishment for ‘playing with food’ at school!) and for the first time since her brother Jonah accidentally shot and severely injured himself, she does something ‘silly’—picks up a clean ladle, pretends it’s a fiddle, and sings the folk song ‘Old Joe Clark’. The reaction of the people at the soup kitchen is smiles and applause and she takes a little bow. Here on page 69, Liv is asking a boy who also works there and plays violin, if he could play his fiddle at her brother Jonah’s upcoming eighteenth birthday party. This section is representative of how even in a situation that is inherently tragic, Liv manages to find lightness and solace and connect with those around her.
Visit Betty Culley's website.

--Marshal Zeringue