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 In 2013 she was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger award for her first (unpublished) novel titled The Assassin’s Keeper under the pseudonym Aine O Domhnaill.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