Wednesday, June 3, 2020

"This Is How I Lied"

Heather Gudenkauf is the Edgar Award nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence, These Things Hidden and Not A Sound.

Gudenkauf applied the Page 69 Test to her latest novel, This Is How I Lied, and reported the following:
From page 69:
She stood and followed the labyrinth of rubbish through the living room, passing a bucket filled with acorns, a dressmaking mannequin and tangles of extension cords up the steps to the second floor. Nola paused at her sister’s bedroom and turned the knob.

The room was dim, the plastic shade drawn, light seeping through only at the corners and edges. Eve’s bed, a narrow twin, was made up with a pieced quilt stitched together with scraps of fabric in shades of pink, orange, green, yellow and blue. One of the Eve’s thrift shop finds. Nola remembered their mother being irritated when Eve brought it home. Why did you bring that dirty thing home, Eve? God knows who’s slept under that thing. Funny, considering the state of the house now.

If Eve could see their house now she would be mortified. she was the one who always kept it clean. After she died their mother gave up on day-to-day activities like cooking and cleaning and taking the garbage out. Nola had other things on her mind. She didn’t have time for housework.

Over the years, Eve’s bedroom stayed the same. No newspapers or garbage bags filled with junk encroached the sacred space. Nola and her mother never spoke about it. Eve’s same grunge-band posters still hung on the walls along with a mosaic of photos of Eve with her friends pinned to a large bulletin board. Since her mother had difficulty getting up and down the steps, a thick layer of dust covered every surface. Nola didn’t like coming in here, but she had run out of space in her own room and had resorted to storing some of her collection in Eve’s room.
The Page 69 Test gives readers an accurate sneak peek into This is How I Lied and the lives of Eve and Nola Knox and their mother. From this snippet we learn how that Eve died years ago and how different Eve was from her sister and mother. She was neat and organized and had a love for music and thrift shop buys.

We also learn a bit about how Nola and her mother’s lives have been impacted by the death of Eve. Twenty five years later, the house is in shambles and Nola still lives at home. We also come to know that Nola is a collector – of what, we don’t quite know yet, but as we get to know her, we understand that it is sure to be unusual.

As the story progresses, we get a more in depth look into Nola’s world, prompting the reader to wonder if Eve had lived, how would Nola’s life had been different – would she be less twisted and cruel? One thing is for certain, Nola cannot be trusted. When new evidence in Eve’s death is found and law enforcement begins to dig more deeply into the murder, the more erratic and unpredictable Nola becomes.
Visit Heather Gudenkauf's website.

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--Marshal Zeringue