She applied the Page 69 Test to Before My Eyes and reported the following:
Much of the novel takes places at a fictional town beach on the south shore of Long Island, New York along the Atlantic Ocean. On this steaming-hot Friday at eleven in the morning—the days and time are listed at every chapter heading in this literary thriller—seventeen-year-old Claire has lied to her father and gone with her six-year-old sister, Izzy, to the beach. Claire has been taking care of her sister for months, ever since their mother had a stroke, and just wants a day of fun in the ocean and sand. But at this moment, on p. 69, Izzy has run ahead through the beach-going throngs, and Claire, in a panic, shouts, “Izzy” and sees this:Visit Caroline Bock's website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter perch.I catch my reflection in a pair of mirrored sunglasses. I look like I’m falling apart, hair out of my ponytail, beach bag over-flowing. He tilts his head, seeing me, watching me watch myself. In the reflection of his sunglasses, I’m all wide brown eyes. I’m distorted, elongated; but he doesn’t turn his head or take off the glasses, and I wonder if he’s looking for someone, too. He has a shaved head and a cold grin.
Claire can’t find Izzy in the crowd until—from behind this man, who we will learn much of in the novel, and who will change Claire’s life forever—Izzy appears.
“I’m right here,” she says. “Anyways I’m not afraid.”
“I’m not afraid either,” I say, though I am angry at the fear welling inside me.
The heavyset, bald guy trains his mirrored sunglasses on us. I look down toward Izzy. I’ve seen enough at my distorted image.
“Yes, you are, Claire,” says Izzy. “You’re always afraid something is going to happen to me.”
I exhale. We’re here. It’s going to be a blistering day. I am not afraid.