Wednesday, April 13, 2022

"The Wise Women"

After two decades of working as an actor, Gina Sorell returned to her first love—writing. A graduate with distinction of UCLA Extension Writers' Program, she is the author of Mothers and Other Strangers. Originally from Johannesburg, she has lived in New York and Los Angeles, and now lives in Toronto with her husband and son.

Sorell applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Wise Women, and reported the following:
From page 69:
"Clementine's great with people," he said, his face lighting up. "I'm sure she'll kill it."

"Look, I don't want it to affect your decision, I just know that you've always thought highly of her."

"I do. But I'm a businessman. I said I wanted something fresh, and this is fresh. A new face, a new voice, it might be just what Rishi needs. We should at least give it a try."


"Okay, but if it doesn't work, we move on. Try someone else. I appreciate you giving Rishi another chance, but you don't owe me anything."

Not anymore, she thought, now that I owe you for helping me bail out my sister and my friend, again.

"Of course." He looked at her and waited, his hand on the check.

"And… I'll figure something out, about my fee," she said. "See if I can't cut back somewhere."

"Terrific, that's all I'm asking," Dominic said, pulling out his black American Express while Barb finished her drink, hoping it would wash away the bitter taste of compromise.
The Page 69 Test would give a good indication of what Barb, one of the three Wise women, is going through. Barb has always looked out for her younger sister Clementine, and just when she is about to ask Clementine to pay her back for a loan, she discovers that her sister's husband has funneled all of their money into his flailing start-up. Instead of taking a step back to take care of her own issues, Barb feels like she has to help Clementine out by getting her more work. The only way to do that is to get Dominic to continue working with her friend Rishi's marketing company, which employs Clementine. She uses the fact that Dominic has always had a crush on her sister to seal the deal and hates herself for it—but she's desperate. What nobody knows is that Barb, at the height of her career, is having money troubles of her own. She's overextended and worn out from taking care of everyone else.

In the novel, all three Wise women are facing a crisis of their own, reckoning with mistakes of their past that are affecting their present, and facing a future that looks much different than what they expected.
Visit Gina Sorell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue