Empire Falls Questions and Answers
by Richard Russo

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In chapter 16, Janine is fixated on the number 60. What is the significance of this number? Why is she fixated on it and what does it imply for her future?

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Janine Roby, soon-to-be-Comeau, has been looking forward to making an entrance at the Fairhaven High School football game. She doesn’t care much for the sport but is thrilled by the idea of ascending the bleachers in her white jeans and halter top. Now in her forties, she’s put a lot of effort into losing the weight she carried as an unpopular teen. She should be enjoying her small revenge on the men who rejected her in high school and the women they chose instead. Instead, all she can think about is the number sixty.

Janine has just learned that her fiancé is sixty. Not fifty, as he’d told her. Not forty, as he looks. She’s upset that he lied:

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