Monday, December 13, 2021

"The Bone Cay"

Raised in the Detroit suburbs, Eliza Nellums now lives with her cat in Washington DC.

Her debut novel is All That's Bright and Gone.

Nellums applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Bone Cay, and reported the following:
Opening The Bone Cay to page 69 gives us the scene where the hurricane really starts to come on land. This book is set in Key West. Our heroine has decided she's not going to evacuate (somewhere in the prior 68 pages) and is planning to ride it out in the historic estate she had spent her career restoring. She is sitting there listening to the weather outside:
The rain picked up suddenly, from zero to one hundred ... after that it came in waves, slowly building in intensity the way she'd imagined labor must do. Once it reached a new level of strength, it never went backwards, but continued to climb, like someone slowly turning up the dial.
I think the page 69 test works for this book. It does give us a good idea of what the story is about - a woman and a storm. The reader will probably get a sense that the main character is out of her depth and not quite prepared for what's to come in the next 200 pages. Her love for the old house and its history is battling against the physical reality of a disaster like this.

I have to admit, I do use a similar test when I'm picking books in the book store, although I usually open it to the middle. I think testing a book in the beginning doesn't work as well, because the writer is on their best behavior at that point. Flip a little further ahead to where the action is and see if it still works for you - or, if there is no action, that could be a sign too.
Visit Eliza Nellums's website.

The Page 69 Test: All That's Bright and Gone.

--Marshal Zeringue