Thursday, August 26, 2021

"She Wouldn't Change a Thing"

Sarah Adlakha is a native of Chicago who now resides on the gulf coast of Mississippi with her husband and three daughters. Writing is her second career but her first dream job. She retired from her psychiatry practice shortly before relocating with her husband and daughters to Mississippi, where she finally put pen to paper and began telling her stories.

Adlakha applied the Page 69 Test to She Wouldn't Change a Thing, her first novel, and reported the following:
From page 69:
She pressed her lips to Maria’s forehead and, like a ghost, rose from the bed, drifted across the floor, and had almost slipped from the room before Maria bolted upright.

“Mom, wait!”

Her mother slid the door shut and retraced her footsteps back to Maria’s bed before she sank down beside her again and smoothed her hair back. “What is going on, sweetie?”

“Please don’t go,” Maria begged. “Don’t you want to spend more time together? To talk about everything that’s happened since you left?”

“I haven’t gone anywhere.” Her mother fluffed the pillow one last time and with a firm insistence assured Maria that they’d spend the following day together, and the weekend, and every moment thereafter. “I promise,” she said, tucking the covers even more tightly around Maria’s body, as if she could secure her to the bed. “I’ll be here when you wake up.”

The clock read 4:52 A.M. when Maria forced her eyes shut, but the residue of adrenaline that trickled through her veins was potent, and sleep was elusive. It wasn’t what she expected it to be, this rendezvous with her mother, but Maria couldn’t wait to share her experience with Will, to apologize for the years of doubt. His face was all she could see as she slipped away into sleep, searching for him on the other side of her dream.
What. Just. Happened? I didn’t think it would work, but page sixty-nine sums up so perfectly the confusion that follows Maria, my main character, throughout the novel. I’d say it was a pretty accurate representation of what you’ll get if you read my book.

In the above scene, Maria has just woken up in her seventeen-year-old body but thinks she’s dreaming. She is visiting with her mother who died a couple of years earlier (in Maria’s adult life), and they are sitting in her childhood bedroom. Up until this point in the book, Maria is a bit of a skeptic about dreams and spirituality, in direct contrast to her husband, so she is excited to wake up in the morning to tell him about what she experienced. From this point on in the novel, the clock starts ticking as Maria slowly learns that she will not be waking up from this dream and that she has been sent back for a very specific purpose.
Visit Sarah Adlakha's website.

--Marshal Zeringue