Friday, April 15, 2022


Julia Spiro is a writer living on Martha’s Vineyard. Her debut novel, Someone Else's Secret, was published July 1, 2020 by Lake Union and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon.

Spiro applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Full, and reported the following:
“It’s about nine o’clock. Life back at the retreat is over until dawn, but life here in Oak Bluffs is just beginning.” Page 69 is where Chapter 8 begins. Ava has recently checked into a wellness retreat where she will stay for six weeks, in an attempt to work through and overcome her eating disorder, as well as some personal demons she’s been battling. It’s only her first night and she feels so stifled by the retreat that she calls a taxi that evening and sneaks off to a busier part of the island, to a town called Oak Bluffs.

This test works well for my book. This page (and it’s a half page!) shows many of the book’s central themes and Ava’s core struggles.

The push-pull Ava feels between wanting to get better and wanting to say “screw it” is acutely illustrated here. The whole reason she’s come to the island is to heal, and yet she immediately rebels against this. It’s an example of how she’s often her own worst enemy, leading herself down paths that she knows won’t be good for her. More specifically, this page shows Ava’s actual vices. As she approaches Oak Bluffs, she’s excited by the “promise of anonymity and greasy food.” This really hits the nail on the head in many ways. Ava’s entire identity revolves around her public platform, and the pressure she feels to be a public figure, sharing all aspects of her life on social media. But what she really needs is privacy, peace, and a chance to redefine who she really is. And of course, this page demonstrates her addiction to food and how she uses food as a source of comfort.
Visit Julia Spiro's website.

The Page 69 Test: Someone Else's Secret.

Q&A with Julia Spiro (July 2020).

--Marshal Zeringue