A Certain Kind Of Freedom

Novel & Short Story


Not one to enjoy the parameters of formal schooling, Ryan had sought a free life away from a tied-down existence. When his girlfriend Kate lost her second parent, he had planned an adventure trip to help her heal. It is in the waters of the peaceful agrarian Maltese Island of Gozo that a sudden storm during a kayaking trip whipped up fierce waves, and Ryan’s earthbound life was stolen by a haggard undersea rock.

Realizing he is dead, Ryan at first thinks he’s won the ultimate freedom. He discovers that he can ‘think’ himself anywhere. He laps up his new lack of earthbound bonds. Ryan discovers, as time passes, that his ‘people’ are moving along in their lives without him. He meets another spirit, Dave, who helps him on his journey, and who gently encourages Ryan to move beyond the borders of his earthly existence as Ryan begins to realize that this new freedom has earned him nothing but fresh ties and bonds. 

In the end, Ryan discovers that true freedom is really that beautiful, graceful time that we share, on earth, with the people we love.

An excerpt from this novel has been reworked and included as a short story available on Amazon.com under the same title, A Certain Kind of Freedom


Feature Review

"As with any collection of writing, there are going to be some pieces that I like more than others. … By far the best story, for me, was the opening (and title) story, “A Certain Kind of Freedom”. I found the writing in this story simply sublime. I felt that the author, Susan Rodgers, didn't put a foot wrong. The story was beautifully constructed and beautifully written..." read full review

– Philip Newey on December 2, 2013

Awards & Recognition 

2011 Atlantic Writing Awards

The novel version of this story was a finalist in the unpublished adult novel category of this competition.

The Writers Drawer

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