I have a guest blog post to share with you today, from author Dorothy M. Place. Her new book, The Heart to Kill, was released late last year. Be sure to read the excerpt at the bottom of this page, and visit Dorothy’s website to learn more about her work. Thanks for sharing this post, Dorothy.
“Dorothy M. Place lives and works in Davis, California. Since submitting her first short story in 2008, she has had eleven stories accepted for publication in literary journals; three have been awarded prizes and one, a fellowship. Her debut, literary fiction novel, The Heart to Kill, was published by SFA Press (2016). A collection of fifteen short stories is being prepared for marketing to agents/publishers this spring. Her second novel, The Search for Yetta, is in process.
“The Heart to Kill is a story of a horrible crime, an enduring friendship, and personal illumination. Sarah Wasser, a student at Northwestern University Law School, returns to her apartment one evening to find two telephone messages. The first is that she has not been chosen for a coveted internship for which her father has arranged an interview; the second is that Sarah’s best friend in high school, JoBeth Ruland, has murdered her two children.
“To mislead her father about her failure to obtain the internship, Sarah secures a position on JoBeth’s defense team and, against her father’s wishes, returns to her family home in Eight Mile Junction, South Carolina. She sets out to become a vital member of her friend’s team and regain favor with her father, only to find that she is not well-prepared for working in a community rife with chauvinism, malice, duplicity, and betrayal. Her efforts are met with the benevolent amusement of the senior law partner, the resentment of the expert trial attorney, the rush to judgement by the folks of Eight Mile Junction, and the discovery of the role of several individuals in the degradation of JoBeth. The Hungry Monster Book Reviews awarded The Heart to Kill its gold award (February 2017).
“The story was influenced by Euripides’ play, Medea (a barbarian princess of Colchis), who gave up everything to help Jason, who married her, find the Golden Fleece. When they return to Greece with the prize, Jason leaves Medea for a Grecian princess. In revenge, she murders their two sons and his intended bride. That play, as well as the stories of several women who murdered their children, inspired Sarah’s journey. The book’s title comes directly from Euripides, where he has the Greek chorus ask, ‘How does she have the heart to kill her flesh and blood?’”
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK:
“She looked to the sky, searching for the moon. Now a small sliver, it seemed to be hanging precariously from the branch of a nearby tree, like an ornament, belonging more to the tree than the sky. Then, after taking a few steps back, Sarah watched the moon fall off the branch and return to its proper place among the evening stars. Funny thing about perspective, how a small change in one direction can dramatically affect everything else.” – The Heart to Kill, by Dorothy M. Place.