New York novelist Jax Miller recently read from her debut thriller, Freedom’s Child at Hay Festival Kells. The highlight of the event may have been the realization by one latecomer — after five minutes of a barrage of F-bombs and talk of bikers, hookers and drugs coming from the podium — that she wasn’t at the Oscar Wilde discussion happening elsewhere at the same time. I spoke to Miller about her follow-up to Freedom’s Child. “It’s called Candyland. It’s set in Pennsylvania, and it’s about a former Amish woman coming to terms with her son’s murder, and who accidentally forms a relationship with the father of her son’s murderer.”
Miller is attracted to “the dark underbelly of the American Dream,” and Candyland deals with poverty, incest, the Amish community, Appalachians, Coal Country, ghost towns (“there are over two hundred ghost towns in Pennsylvania”) and Miller describes it as “much darker than Freedom’s Child,” which is saying something considering that Freedom’s Child was hailed by critics as “an unsettling, jarring thriller” that “hits you over the head like a beer bottle.” Candyland will be released in 2017 by Penguin Random House.