Monday, May 13, 2024

"Morning Pages"

Kate Feiffer, a former television news producer, is an illustrator, and author of eleven highly acclaimed books for children, including Henry the Dog with No Tail and My Mom Is Trying to Ruin My Life. Morning Pages is her first novel for adults. Feiffer currently divides her time between Martha’s Vineyard, where she raised her daughter Maddy, and New York City, where she grew up.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Morning Pages and reported the following:
From page 69:

So what’s your news Pops?


I sold my place. Nicolette and I bought a terrific house just a few miles down the road.


What? You what? You moved? Why didn’t you tell me you were moving?


I’m telling you now.


Why didn’t you tell me before you moved?


You were busy at work. I didn’t want to bother you. You’ll love the house. It was just built. Nicolette decided she wants to go into the interior design business, so I bought her a house to get her started. You should see what she can do with a room. I never noticed rooms before. They were all the same to me. Some had couches, some had beds, some had tables, but mostly, they were all the same. Nicolette sees things that should be in a room that I never thought about. She has a vision, which is good, since I’ve almost lost mine.
Morning Pages is about a playwright who is trying to revive her stalled-out career while managing the chaos and complications of family, friends, writer’s block, and romance. Scenes from the play she is writing are scattered throughout the book, and the play is revealed to be a story within a story. On page 69, there is a section from a scene in the play.

So does the Page 69 Test work for Morning Pages? I’d say, yes-ish. Page 69 has the humor and the hurt that readers will find throughout the novel.

On page 69, Laurie and her father Larry are at diner eating lunch and catching up. Larry tells Laurie that he and his wife, Nicolette, have moved into a new house so Nicolette can become an interior designer. Laurie is trying to digest the fact that her father actually sold his house and moved without telling her.

One of the themes explored in the novel is the relationship we have as adults with our parents and the emotional hold they continue to hold over us decades after we’ve moved out, even after we’ve had our own children. And yet, why do we still seek their approval? Why do we regress when we are around our parents? Why do our childhood hurts still sting? And how do we manage our parents’ care with compassion as they get older and needier?
Visit Kate Feiffer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue