Do Not Pass Go
Alaskan writer, mother of six and grandmother of eight
Kirkpatrick Hill had a family member in jail at one point. Visiting
this person, an experience that most people would want only to put
behind them, was the impetus for her to write a book. Do Not Pass Go
looks at a man's incarceration through the eyes of his not-old-enough-
Deet is a super organized young man who gets frustrated by the
way his folks waste money and fail to plan or follow through with
stuff like cleaning the furnace or shoveling snow off the roof.
Sometimes he feels like he's the only adult in the family. He
discovers that things can get worse, a lot worse, when his step
father, taking uppers to have energy to work two jobs, is busted for
drugs and incarcerated.
Things start to go to Hades in the proverbial handbasket. Even
with Deet's mother working the family finances are a mess. His step
dad was working two jobs to compensate for over spending. Not to
mention Deet's two very young half sisters he and his mom must protect
and care for.
Deet had always thought only bad guys went to jail. When he
first visits his step father he is surprised by the ordinariness of
the inmates. "...Where were the perverts, the steely-eyed hoodlums,
the disgusting underbelly of society? They were prisoners, in jail,
but they looked like anyone else you might see in the streets..."
That's just the beginning of the thought transformation dilineated in
Do Not Pass Go.
It's a poignant novel of a boy and a man coming of age under
much less than ideal circumstances.
On a personal note, when I was quite young I acquired a baby sitting
client who told me her husband was ill in the hospital. I believed
that until his trial hit the newspapers. He was in prison for
homicide. People told me I should quit lest he have someone on the
outside kill me. Actually he was glad that I was helping to give his
son and daughter the happy experiences they deserved.
A great big shout out goes out to all who reach out to help children
with the person or people they love the most incarcerated.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod