Thursday, September 17, 2015

"Eden's Wish"

M. Tara Crowl grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She studied Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, then received an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

Crowl applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Eden's Wish, and reported the following:
Here’s page 69 of Eden’s Wish:
…admonitions, it was the sort of practical information Xavier had never covered.

She examined a white tank top with the word California scrawled in hot pink across the front. She fingered the lightweight cotton longingly, then found the price tag tucked inside: $14.99. Fourteen dollars and ninety-nine cents. She’d never used money, and she certainly didn’t own any. How did one go about getting it, anyway?

Feeling defeated, she weaved down the boardwalk again. Many of the people she saw were surfers. They were all different ages and types, but each carried a board like it was precious cargo, and kept his or her eyes fixed on the waves forming at the horizon. Watching them, she nearly ran into an athletic-looking, deeply tanned girl moving quickly across her path.

“You know I don’t eat this crap!” the girl snapped at a young man following closely behind her. She was holding a white paper bag as far as possible from her body between two fingertips, as if it were a rancid dead rat. Reaching a trash can, she flicked it inside and strutted away with the male mortal hot on her heels.

A scruffy man in a tattered T-shirt appeared and sprang into action. He approached the can, retrieved the bag, and ripped out its contents: a cheeseburger wrapped in grease-soaked yellow paper and a cardboard…
The protagonist of this book is Eden, a rebellious 12-year-old genie who wants to live on Earth. She’s fed up with the confines of her life, and angry at her masters (the parental figures who have raised her in the lamp). In the first part of the story, she discovers that the lamp’s spout is its portal to the world, and climbs out of it to escape.

She surfaces on a beach in San Diego. On page 69, she’s just arrived and is exploring the area. She’s also starting to grapple with things she’s never had to think about before. Specifically, on this page, she’s realizing that clothing and food aren’t going to be handed to her the way they always have been in the lamp. She’s learning that life on Earth requires money. For a girl who has always ridiculed wishers for lusting after money, this is a true reality check. It’s the first of many rude awakenings that Eden will experience on Earth.

However, page 69 doesn’t even hint at an entirely separate set of challenges that Eden will face. Turns out, there are dozens of genie alumni roaming Earth. In the coming pages, they’ll set their sights on Eden. Half of them want her to return to the lamp, while the other half are determined to acquire the lamp’s power for their own purposes. But all of them make it very difficult—or maybe impossible—for her to blend in on Earth.
Visit M. Tara Crowl's website.

Writers Read: M. Tara Crowl.

--Marshal Zeringue