Saturday, July 4, 2015

"The Miracle Girl"

Andrew Roe is the author of The Miracle Girl (Algonquin Books). His fiction has been published in Tin House, One Story, The Sun, Glimmer Train, Slice, The Cincinnati Review, and other publications, as well as the anthologies 24 Bar Blues (Press 53) and Where Love Is Found (Washington Square Press). His nonfiction has been published in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon.com, and elsewhere.

Roe applied the Page 69 Test to The Miracle Girl and reported the following:
The Miracle Girl features many characters and multiple points of view, so I was curious what I’d find when I turned to page 69. (The book centers on the title character, eight-year-old Anabelle Vincent, who’s in a coma-like state and is supposedly capable of performing miracles. When word of this spreads, more and more people flock to the Vincent’s suburban Los Angeles home, seeking the girl’s help.)

Fittingly, page 69 includes the end of a section that introduces one character (Linda Santiago, a physical therapist who’s taking on Anabelle as a new client) and the beginning of a section that introduces another character (Donald Westerfield, an elderly man who’s drawn to Anabelle because of his dying wife). Re-reading the page reminded me of how much time I’d spent on mapping out the novel’s characters and how they’d appear and intersect throughout the book.

I also remembered how, for a long time, I had a different introduction for Donald; it showed him waiting in line to see Anabelle. At some point, I realized I needed to introduce him earlier to provide him with some back story. Here’s what I eventually came up with:
One morning, in the forty-sixth year of the Westerfield’s marriage, not long after Donald Westerfield had retired from a successful career as a civil engineer, and right before the annual descent of the hectic and draining but also somehow rejuvenating holidays (four grandkids now, and counting), Patricia Westerfield woke up briefly and then went back to sleep.
Learn more about the book and author at Andrew Roe's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Miracle Girl.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Our Brothers at the Bottom of the Bottom of the Sea"

Jonathan David Kranz maintains dual identities as a marketing copywriter and a fiction writer. His debut novel, Our Brothers at the Bottom of the Bottom of the Sea, launched in early June. He lives in Melrose, MA with his old lady and two young adult daughters.

Kranz applied the Page 69 Test to Our Brothers at the Bottom of the Bottom of the Sea and reported the following:
On page 69 of Our Brothers you’ll find:
The Christmas tree lay on its side at the foot of the basement stairs as if it had tripped on the way down and then died there from neglect. In fact, it hadn’t budged since the day in February when, in an unusual display of emotion, Mr. Waters had bear-hugged the tree and lifted it, stand and all, without regard for the strings of lights that remained plugged to the wall or the ornaments that scattered around his feet as he carried it to the basement door and heaved it angel-first into the gloom below.

“There,” he had said, presumably to Ethan’s mother although she had gone upstairs a half hour before, “the tree’s down. Happy?”

Now it was June, the edge of the first summer since Jason’s death, and Ethan stood at the top of the basement staircase, peering into the darkness, burning with indignation: he hadn’t thrown the tree down, but he was going to pick it up. His father had not been pleased when he learned that Ethan had found a job at The Sizzleator, found it without asking, without discussing it, without drawing upon Chuck Waters’ knowledge of, and contacts on, the boardwalk. “You just walked up and asked for a job, just like that?” Chuck had asked.

“Yeah,” Ethan had said. “More or less.”

“The rules have changed,” Chuck said. “At least out there.” That was when he got the idea that the basement really needed to be straightened up and Ethan would be the right man to do it.
By sheer good luck, page 69 happens to the beginning of a chapter, giving it a fortunate coherence. Is it representative of the rest of the novel? I like to think so. Here, we have a very familiar icon—a Christmas tree—applied in an unexpected way. At this point in the story, the tree’s ugly fate suggests dysfunction, one of the manifest ways grief has torn apart Ethan’s family. At other moments, other familiar things—shells, a journal, an empty bottle of Frangelico—fulfill unanticipated roles. If readers like finding a Christmas tree at the bottom of the basement stairs, they’ll probably enjoy the rest of the book.
Visit Jonathan David Kranz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"Backlands"

Victoria Shorr is a writer and political activist who lived in Brazil for ten years. Currently she lives in Los Angeles, where she cofounded the Archer School for Girls, and is now working to found a college-prep school for girls on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Shorr applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Backlands, and reported the following:
From page 69:
…The priest came out afterwards with holy water, and everyone came by to stare at the gashes in the door. One old tracker said it was the work of a jaguar, but the children were adamant. It was the lobishomem, the Wolf Man, they'd heard him clearly, even if they hadn't looked him in his terrible face.

What would have happened next, she wondered? Not to the children, but to her, if he came in here? What would he do? Would there be love before the murder? He was a wolf—but he was a man, too. Which was he more? Wolf or man?

She walked over to the shutters, closed tight, as everyone's were, every door and shutter in the whole Sertão, shut and barred before nightfall. The nights were filled with danger, werewolves, bandits, terrors all, to be shut out. But what, she wondered, was she afraid of? Really, what she was afraid of any more?
Page 69 ends a passage where Maria Bonita has just heard about the werewolf coming to her cousins' house in the woods. She is married to the shoemaker then, stuck, trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband is old, impotent. He has never touched her. She lives in silence. She is desperate. Alone. This page depicts her loneliness and desperation at its height. It is the last moment before radical change.
Visit Victoria Shorr's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 29, 2015

"Superfluous Women"

Carola Dunn is the author of many mysteries featuring Daisy Dalrymple, as well as numerous historical novels. Born and raised in England, she lives in Eugene, Oregon.

Dunn applied the Page 69 Test to Superfluous Women, the 22nd Daisy Dalrymple mystery, and reported the following:
Superfluous Women focuses on the women who, brought up to expect a husband, home, and family, found themselves with little hope of marriage because of the huge number of men killed in WWI.

Daisy visits an old school friend who lives with two other women in a house they recently bought together in a small town near London. She and her husband, DCI Alec Fletcher, are invited to Sunday lunch. One of the ladies mentions the old wine cellar—it's locked and they were never given a key. Hoping to find a bottle overlooked in the sale of the contents, Alec picks the lock. What he finds in the near-airtight cellar is a long-dead body, whose stench drives them from the house.

The local police take over the case, as Alec is a witness and can't officially investigate. On Page 69, Daisy is being interviewed by the local Detective Inspector.
Daisy had a feeling his rationale was somewhat specious, but she was always a bit muddled about what was hearsay, what was speculation, and what counted as reporting her own knowledge and observations.

"This is what I remember," she said cautiously. "I couldn't swear I'm getting it right."

"No swearing involved at present, and it won't go in your official statement."

That made her even less certain that she ought to be telling him. She couldn't see what harm it could do, though. "All right. Let's see, where should I start?"

"I'll leave that up to you, Mrs. Fletcher."

"In a nutshell: Miss Sutcliffe had a large house in Huddersfield and not much money, so she took in lodgers. Willie—Miss Chandler—and Miss Leighton had rooms there and they became friends. Miss Chandler worked as a secretary and bookkeeper. She studied and took the exams and became a Chartered Accountant."

"Did she now! A bright young lady."

"Very. But there was some ill-feeling about her success at the firm she worked for, that made her uncomfortable."

"Some people are jealous of success, even when it's taken hard work."

"That, and I gathered one of her bosses believed women had no business becoming professionals. She found a good job in High Wycombe, so she had to move. The others decided to stick with her. Miss Leighton's a teacher and luckily St. Mary's school here in Beaconsfield had an opening. Miss Sutcliffe sold her house and bought Cherry Trees. She's housekeeper, cook, gardener—and landlady to some degree, I think, but I'm a little vague about that."

"Then Miss Sutcliffe must be about the house much of the time? She's the most likely to know something about the previous residents."

"I can't answer for her. That you will have to ask them."

"Of course. Now, would you please tell me what happened at Cherry Trees today."

"Alec and I were invited to lunch. We—"

"Just a minute. When did you receive the invitation?"

"When I went to tea. They invited me, then included Alec when I told them he was coming. If he didn't mind being outnumbered four to one, they said."

"Did they know then that he's a police officer? A detective chief inspector?"

"Willie did. Miss Chandler. She didn't tell the others. I prefer to keep quiet about it, in general. I expect your wife's told you how people look askance at a copper's wife."
Learn more about the book and author at Carola Dunn's website and blog.

Coffee with a Canine: Carola Dunn and Trillian.

The Page 69 Test: Heirs of the Body.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 28, 2015

"Death in Salem"

Eleanor Kuhns is the 2011 winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel competition. She lives in New York, received her master’s in Library Science from Columbia University, and is currently the Assistant Director at the Goshen Public Library in Orange County, New York.

Kuhns applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Death in Salem, and reported the following:
I always find this an interesting exercise and surprising useful in identifying themes of the book.

In Death in Salem, page 69 involves two important characters. Will Rees is one. He is engaged in preparing to search the tunnels underneath Salem, an area that turns out to have a great deal of importance. The other is Peggy Boothe, daughter of Jacob who is the first murder victim. She and Rees are discussing the key to the tunnel door, after walking through a cellar filled with treasure. Not just the murder is important here but also secrets and the keys to them. Page 69 alludes to the secrets this family has: theft, smuggling among others.
Learn more about the book and author at Eleanor Kuhns's blog and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: Death of a Dyer.

The Page 69 Test: Death of a Dyer.

Coffee with a Canine: Eleanor Kuhns & Shelby.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 26, 2015

"Even When You Lie to Me"

Jessica Alcott lives with her husband and their two cats. She graduated from Bennington College and has worked at a children’s publisher in the UK.

Alcott applied the Page 69 Test to Even When You Lie to Me, her first novel, and reported the following:
Ugh, I always hate looking at the book after I've been away from it! It takes me a while not to be disgusted with it (yes, I should probably see someone about this). Anyway, page 69 is a conversation between Charlie, the protagonist, and Mr. Drummond, the teacher she's developing a crush on. They're bantering about books but really testing each other out, which is pretty representative of their relationship as a whole. This page also contains one of my favorite stupid jokes, which I'd been saving in my head for years (the book is probably 65% outlet for stupid literature-based jokes I've thought of over the years), which is when Charlie assumes from the title that The Brothers Karamazov is about Russian acrobats, and Drummond counters with, "Just like Madame Bovary is about a cow who wants to be human." I apologize.
Visit Jessica Alcott's website.

Writers Read: Jessica Alcott.

My Book, The Movie: Even When You Lie to Me.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"The Sign of the Cat"

Lynne Jonell is the author of the novels Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls, and The Secret of Zoom, as well as several critically acclaimed picture books. Her books have been named Junior Library Guild Selections and a Smithsonian Notable Book, among numerous other honors. Born in Little Falls, Minnesota, Jonell grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis. She now teaches writing at the Loft Literary Center and lives with her husband and two sons in Plymouth, Minnesota, in a house on a hill.

Jonell applied the Page 69 Test to her new book, The Sign of the Cat, and reported the following:
From page 69:
A faint mutter of conversation came floating up the stairs from the kitchen below. Suddenly he heard his mother saying, sharply, "No. I'm not going to tell him yet."

The front door closed. The double lock clicked twice. Through Duncan's open window came the quick tap of footsteps in the street, rapidly fading away.

Duncan awoke to a thin crack of sun, piercing through a gap in the curtains. He had been dreaming again, that same dream of the bright window high in the dark. This time, though, something had been chasing him. He got up abruptly and pushed the hair out of his eyes. The dream was already fading, leaving nothing but a faint memory of dread.

Downstairs, Grizel was happily crunching something in her bowl—sardines, by the smell—and there were rolls and fresh fruit on the table, along with a note. It said that his mother had gone to her first music lesson of the day, but she’d packed Duncan a lunch and hoped he would have a good day at school and remember to buckle his cap.

Duncan stared at the food. Fresh fish, rolls from the bayside bakery, fruit from the wharfside grocers-- his mother must have gotten up very early indeed, if she had walked all the long way down to the wharf and back up the long hill.

He sat down to eat and studied the note again. There was nothing about where she had gotten the money for food. Nothing about the strange visitor of the night before.
Well, given that it’s only one page, this isn’t too bad!

Page 69 of The Sign of the Cat evokes a sense of mystery, which is at the heart of the book. There is a secret visitor in the night, and we see that although Duncan’s mother loves him enough to make a long trip so he can have breakfast, she is also hiding some crucial bit of information from him. We also see that they are poor, which tugs at the reader, and the dream gives a sense of foreboding.

What’s missing is the sea, the talking cats, and any sense of humor!

We get a small hint of the sea when the word “bayside” is used to identify the bakery, and a wharf certainly suggests water and boats. But we get no real sense of the swashbuckling, seafaring adventure that is to come.

Further, Grizel, Duncan’s cat, is so busy munching the sardines in her bowl that she doesn’t speak; if you were to look at page 69 alone you might not realize this very important aspect of the book. Much of the humor comes from the cats and their interactions with humans, so without a talking cat on the page the reader can’t realize just how playful certain parts of the book are.

All in all, though, I think page 69 is fairly representative of The Sign of the Cat. I’m pleasantly surprised to see that there was so much that could be inferred from just one random page.
Visit Lynne Jonell's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Sign of the Cat.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"The Clockwork Dagger"

Beth Cato hails from Hanford, California, but currently writes and bakes cookies in a lair outside of Phoenix, Arizona. She shares the household with a hockey-loving husband, a numbers-obsessed son, and a cat the size of a canned ham.

Cato applied the Page 69 Test to her 2014 novel, The Clockwork Dagger, and reported the following:
Heroine and healer Octavia Leander has just saved her roommate from the brink of death, and with the help of airship steward Alonzo Garret, she cleans up the scene of the crime.
“I’ll tend to it. You see a bit of everything on these ships.” Mr. Garret stood and unsnapped the canvas from the support poles around the bunk.

“Truly? You see that many attempted murders and medicians failing in their attempts to travel incognito?”

“I referred more to unusual stains and matters of laundry. As for your efforts to travel incognito, I can assure you, your presence has created an unusual fuss on board ship. You are the epitome of gossip right now.”

She harrumphed beneath her breath. “I might find that flattering if my friend hadn’t nearly died.” Tears flooded her eyes. “This is . . . we can’t keep this a secret, not because of me. There’s still a murderer on board.”

Mr. Garret folded the tenting and set it on the floor. He began to lift the sodden mattress and Octavia shook her head. “Wait a moment,” she said. “This won’t dry it to the center, but it will help.” She un-holstered her parasol and held the stick over the blood. Immediately the outer layer began to pale, the desiccated blood falling away in thick flakes like curling candle wax. His eyes widened.

“I never guessed that your medician wand was hidden there.”

“Good. I might keep some secrets from you yet.”
The book is inspired by Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, though my take is set on an airship. This page surprised me with how representative it is of my steampunk fantasy duology. It's a slower scene, coming right after intense action, but shows the growing relationship between Octavia and Alonzo. Octavia is the most powerful medician (magical doctor) in the realm. She knows that she was the intended murder victim, but has no idea why. This is the point where the stakes increase. Her secrets emerge, but so do her roommate's--and Octavia is going to find out she's caught in a snarled mess of political intrigue that is greatly complicated by the involvement of Mr. Garret.
Learn more about The Clockwork Dagger and the just-released The Clockwork Crown at Beth Cato's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 22, 2015

"Concrete Angel"

Patricia Abbott is the author of more than 125 stories that have appeared online, in print journals and in various anthologies. She is the author of Monkey Justice and Home Invasion and co-editor of Discount Noir. She won a Derringer award for her story "My Hero."

Abbott applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Concrete Angel, and reported the following:
Either I wrote Concrete Angel with this test in mind or something paranormal occurred. Page 69 is the beginning of one the more important sections of the book: the exploration of the treatment of a mentally ill woman between 1962 and 1975.

Eve Moran, the book's protagonist, has just been caught shoplifting in Wanamakers Department Store in the early sixties. To extricate her from possible legal action, her husband has promised to get her psychiatric treatment. On page 69, she enters an upscale facility called The Terraces. Her husband, Hank, has committed her, and she is steaming mad once the valium wears off. She has reasoned that his promise was tactical rather than binding. This is what greets her at The Terraces.
The Regimen. It was the cusp of a new era of treatment for the mentally ill. No more lobotomies or electric or insulin shock treatments. No more strait-jackets or wrapping patients in wet clothes. Instead it was the era of talk therapy.... Patients had to talk their head off to be released, remembering or inventing dreams, thoughts, grievances, childhood traumas--all of this to feed the doctors needs to probe their minds.
Eve, being the savvy yet self-destructive woman she is, manages to thwart her incarceration's limitations by having goods delivered to her room at The Terraces. The practice is not unusual. It is the amount of merchandise that stuns everyone.

Although this page is pure narrative without any dialog, I think it is pretty indicative of the subject matter of the book. Eve is a mentally ill woman and the book is about how her family, especially her daughter, Christine, are impacted by that.
Visit Patricia Abbott's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 21, 2015

"Burnt River"

Karin Salvalaggio received in MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck at the University of London. Born in West Virginia and raised in an Air Force family, she grew up on a number of military bases around the United States. She now lives in London.

Bone Dust White is her first full-length novel.


Salvalaggio applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Burnt River, and reported the following:
When this writer imagines her ideal reader they always seem to be in some trendy bookstore clutching a takeaway coffee as they wander the stacks. Having managed to escape the hustle of the city, they’re enjoying the quasi-monastic interior. By good fortune they spot my latest thriller Burnt River on a table. The cover image is intriguing so they pick it up and turn it over in their hands, but here’s where this reader strays from this writer’s narrative. They don’t read the blurb or any of those hard won reviews. They simply flip through to page 69. Pressed for time this is their test. Pass it and my book finds a new reader. Fail it and they move on to the next intriguing cover.

They read.
Dylan pulled into the hospital’s parking lot and sat with the engine idling. It was the first time he’d been back since his father passed away a few years earlier. It was supposed to be a routine operation but his father had succumbed to an infection and was dead within a week. Dylan circled the crowded parking lot a few times before finally giving up and pulling into a handicapped space. He dug his badge out of the glove compartment and threw it on the dashboard. It was nearly five in the afternoon and the sun was still in full bloom. The air was clearer than it had been in weeks. In the distance a vague outline of the mountains was visible. According to the news, the wind had shifted and the authorities were hopeful that the latest wildfire was finally under control.

Jessie was sitting on a bench outside the front entrance. She had her legs tucked under her and was using an empty Diet Coke can as an ashtray. For a while they sat side by side without saying a word. He closed his eyes and let the smoke drift over him. Jessie held up the pack.

“Want one?”

“No thanks, I quit.”

“Seems the wrong time to quit.”

“Is there ever a right time?”

“Guess not.” She paused. “Thank you.”

Dylan closed his eyes again. “For what?”

Her shoulders bounced. “For coming. I didn’t think you would.”

“Now you’re just talking shit.”

“What did you tell that detective?”

“I told her everything I know, which isn’t much.”

“So you’re talking shit too.”
This writer breathes a sigh of relief. Page 69 proves to be a very interesting read indeed and surprisingly representative of the book as a whole. In the short passage we are introduced to two of my central characters Dylan and Jessie; given a sense of place; and are told outright that these two characters are not being entirely truthful to each other and an unnamed detective. The writing style is austere. The dialogue is fast paced and combative. Jessie likes to swear, smoke and drink Diet Coke. Dylan has a physical handicap, which he resents, misses smoking terribly, lost a father to illness and has talked shit to a detective. Their relationship is intimate enough to allow silences and they’re not afraid to call each other out when they know they’re not being honest. There is affection but it’s held at arms length.

These two characters are damaged and the reader wants to know why but is a little worried that the book will be a total downer. The reader skims back over the passage again and is relieved to find that the wildfires that so plague the book’s front cover are finally under control and the air was clearer than it had been in weeks. There is hope on these pages after all. The reader closes the book and once again looks at the cover. They read the blurb, the reviews and the author’s short bio. They take a quick look around to make sure they are unobserved before slipping my book into their bag.

This writer puts her head in her hands. It turns out this particular reader is a kleptomaniac. Not ideal. Here’s hoping they write a nice review…
Visit Karin Salvalaggio's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 20, 2015

"Enchanted August"

Brenda Bowen was born in Philadelphia, grew up in England (from Herman’s Hermits to Queen to the Clash), was graduated from Colby College, made her career in New York, and longs for a cottage in Maine.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Enchanted August, and reported the following:
Enchanted August is a breezy summer read about four jaded New Yorkers who find themselves, more or less by chance, renting a cottage on a Maine island for one glorious month. The glorious month gets off to a rocky start, however, as the four of them do not have much in common. Brooklyn mom Lottie Wilkes heads out of the cottage to explore the island on page 69. She picks some flowers on her way to the island’s tennis courts, and thinks about her husband, who’s back in the city. Here’s a snippet from the page:
Lottie absently thought how much she wished Jon could see her now. She did not have much vanity, but she imagined that she looked her best at this moment. She could feel the late morning sun setting fire to her hair; she was happy with the flowers in her arms. She was so preoccupied with how she must have looked that she didn’t hear one of the tennis players approaching her.

“Morning,” he said.

“Morning,” she replied.
I like page 69 (especially as it leads to page 71, which I really like). It’s the page where Lottie begins to branch out and meet other people on the island. When I was first writing the book, I got stuck right about here. I told a friend of mine – herself a book editor – that I was writing a novel based on Elizabeth von Arnim’s The Enchanted April. In that story, the main characters barely interact at all with anyone from the village in which the book is set. I believed I had to stay absolutely true to von Arnim’s original: “So they can’t meet any of the islanders,” I told her.

She said “Why not?”

And that “Why not?” stayed with me.

She was right of course. I would have missed quite an opportunity in my own book if I had kept myself so straitened. I went ahead and let Lottie meet Bill Keating, one of those sporty, fit, game New Englanders with which my fictional island – and New England itself – is populated.

He’s handy for exposition, but more important – he invites Lottie to the island’s Hat Party later that summer. And the Hat Party (Chapter 17) is not to be missed.
Visit Brenda Bowen's website.

Writers Read: Brenda Bowen.

My Book, The Movie: Enchanted August.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"Freedom's Child"

Jax Miller was born and raised in New York but currently lives in the Irish countryside. In 2013 she was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger award for her first (unpublished) novel titled The Assassin’s Keeper under the pseudonym Aine O Domhnaill.

Miller applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Freedom's Child, and reported the following:
Oh my goodness, what am I in for? [opens to page 69]
…care for. Truly. Those unwanted guests who want to eat all your food and don’t grasp the first million hints to get the hell out of your home. I think that’s the best way to describe it. I have reached my destination.

The spray of the ocean is at its warmest this time of year, but the air is colder as I climb onto the craggy rocks in the pitch black underneath a moonless night. All that’s to be heard are the sounds of oxygenated bubbles rising to the bottom of the bottle and the crashes of salt below. The scotch burns, and so I cough it out into the gusts that knot up my red hair.

***
I think back to the day I knew I’d never see my kids again. That was twenty years ago. The word dismissed ricocheted around in my skull for two weeks after I was released from prison. Dismiss: verb. To order or allow to leave; to send away. Vanessa Delaney, the charge of second-degree murder against you is to be dismissed with prejudice.

I sat in an office behind chambers in family court, not far from where I was charged with killing my husband two years prior. I waited for Sharon Goodwyn, a plump and pale woman with no nose, only holes in her face that made her look like a black-haired swine. She was the caseworker in charge of overseeing my children’s adoption after I was charged. And I hadn’t seen her since. But I remember her well, and I remember wishing that some homeless diseased freak would jump her in an alleyway for taking pride in a case that took away my children even though I was wrong- fully accused.

Back when I was brought before the judge, I said not one word, not even when he asked me to speak. It was pointless…
Ah, this one’s not too too bad. It happens to fall on a break, so we see the tail-end of one timeline and the start of another. And yes, I’d say it’s pretty representative of Freedom’s Child as a whole, gives us an idea of what to expect: A drunk narrative and the not-so-sweet way she looks at authority.

To put it in context, it starts mid-thought where Freedom is trying to explain to the reader what mental illness feels like (though she’s quick to dismiss doctors’ diagnoses and chalk it up to being eccentric). We then see her opting to get drunk as a means of self medicating. Enter, 20 year old flashback, where we see Freedom in a courthouse. Here, she was recently released from prison, charges dismissed, and she waits for the social worker to visit her, the one in charge of seeing her kids off to a new adoptive home. And we see that Freedom, put nicely, isn’t too keen of the woman.
Visit Jax Miller's website.

My Book, The Movie: Freedom's Child.

--Marshal Zeringue