Wednesday, December 16, 2020

"The Three Mrs. Wrights"

Linda Keir is the pen name for the writing team of Linda Joffe Hull and Keir Graff, the authors of Drowning with Others and The Swing of Things.

They applied the Page 69 Test to their new novel, The Three Mrs. Wrights, and reported the following:
On page 69 of our latest release, The Three Mrs. Wrights, you will find the following passage:
“How are we looking?” asked Holly, not wanting to turn around to read the room.

Without hesitation, Brian did just that, scanning faces, nodding at several people, and doing a quick head count. “Not bad. I emailed, texted, Facebooked, and tweeted this morning, trying to get the numbers up. I’m sure we’ll get a few more, even if they’re a little late.”

Holly glanced over at Theresa, who was watching them intently. Brian grinned and gave her a thumbs-up, which caused Theresa and Larry to go into a huddle with their lawyer.

“Who does this?” complained Holly pointlessly. “It’s like moving to Taos and telling everyone there are too many art galleries.”

“Either way, they’re outnumbered,” Brian reassured her…

As he scrolled on his phone to see if anyone had retweeted his call to action, the chairperson rapped his gavel, calling the meeting to order. Brian reached over and gave her arm a squeeze. Her head throbbed again, and suddenly Holly felt distracted and unprepared, unable to concentrate as the chairperson asked the board to approve the minutes of the last meeting before laying out the agenda of the meeting before them.
The Three Mrs. Wrights is the story of three intelligent, empowered women who discover they are all married or engaged to dynamic, handsome med-tech entrepreneur Jonathan Wright III AKA Jack Wright AKA Trip Mitchell. Told from alternating points of view, the book gradually reveals Jon’s various betrayals and the revenge exacted upon him by the three female protagonists.

On page 69, the reader is with Holly Wright, Jack’s pediatrician wife of nearly twenty years. An avid horsewoman, she is in the midst of a city council imbroglio with an unpleasant neighbor who is objecting to an extension to an otherwise popular bridle path in their horse-friendly community. At her side is Brian Frederickson, her right-hand man, whose interest goes beyond their joint projects. Holly is attracted to Brian but she is definitely not a cheater. The purpose of this scene is to lay the groundwork for the fact that she will soon discover that her husband has not only cheated on her but is a bigamist.

Does this accurately reflect the book as a whole? It introduces tensions in the marriage between Holly and Jack—seen and conveniently overlooked—and the frisson between Holly and Brian, but we’d be hard pressed to call a scene at a city council meeting much more riveting than actually attending in person. A far better page 69 test can be found in our first jointly written novel, The Swing of Things, which is a marital drama and cautionary tale about—ahem—swinging:
Eric helped Jayne from the back seat. Her eagerness had been joined by confusion, although she was determined to play along gamely. Something about seeing her out of her element made her look ten years younger. He gave her hand a quick squeeze and let it drop.

Theo and Mia smiled at them, saying nothing, heightening the suspense.
Here, you know exactly what you’re in for!
Visit the websites of Linda Joffe Hull and Keir Graff.

My Book, The Movie: The Three Mrs. Wrights.

--Marshal Zeringue