He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his latest book, Young Woman and the Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Inspired the World, and reported the following:
In Young Woman and the Sea I tell the story of Trudy Ederle, who in 1926 became the first woman (and sixth person) to swim the English Channel, beating the existing men’s record by nearly two hours and opening the door for women to compete in sports. To give her story the appropriate significance and weight, over the course of the first half of the book, as I introduce the reader to Trudy, I also tell the story of the English Channel, the history of swimming and women’s sports, and the history of swimming the Channel.Read an excerpt from Young Woman and the Sea, and learn more about the book and author at Glenn Stout's website and blog.
On page 99, in a chapter entitled “The Next Man,” the reader meets Thomas William “Bill” Burgess, who in 1911 became the second person in history to swim the Channel. In the summer of 1926, as Trudy was preparing for her swim, Burgess served as her trainer and guide, decoding the tides and currents that even today make crossing the Channel rarer and more difficult than climbing Mount Everest. One of the first Channel aspirants to realize that this was the key to swimming the Channel, Burgess’s ability to read the tides and currents allowed Trudy to make use of her athleticism and perseverance to conquer the Channel and change the world.