Saturday, May 16, 2020

"Dear Universe"

Florence Gonsalves is the author of two books of young adult fiction, Love and Other Carnivorous Plants and Dear Universe. In 2015 she graduated from Dartmouth College where she majored in Philosophy, while taking as many poetry classes as she could. Her work experience ranges from publishing in NYC, to farming in Maine, to one really bad holiday shift at UPS. She currently lives in Portland, Maine.

Gonsalves applied the Page 69 Test to Dear Universe and reported the following:
Not to brag, but it’s like my book was made to ace the Browser’s test. If readers open to page 69 of Dear Universe they’ll get a perfectly accurate idea of what the book is about. The scene opens with the “weird” guy from Cham’s school visiting her house to see her dad because this schoolmate is a hospital volunteer. This is both Cham’s worst nightmare and the root of her dilemma: how to keep her two worlds from merging.
I close the door behind Brendan. My chest is full of horses. They’re trampling me in their race to keep these people and places separate. Brendan comes from the world of things happening, and this is the world of things I can’t believe are happening. And yet here he is, holding out his hot drinks, and it’s their steam that’s crossing over first, from that world into this.

Dear Universe,

Wanted: A giant claw to come down and pluck Brendan from my house because he is an intruder from my other world and home is my other other world, which is only safe for me, my family and carpenter ants, which are like family given that they eat all our food.
On page 69 we see Cham getting smooshed as her worlds collide. Brendan ends up being a beautiful bridge between her home life and her school life, helping her to open up in ways she couldn’t imagine and wouldn’t want to imagine. Still, it takes a lot for Cham to let him in, both into her house during this scene and also emotionally. That Brendan does get in despite Cham’s resistance– think angry-outbursts, fights with friends, and some good old-fashioned crying – is one of my favorite parts of the story.
Visit Florence Gonsalves's website.

Q&A with Florence Gonsalves.

--Marshal Zeringue