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Oct 3, 2011

The Jade Rabbit book review.....

Rest day on the schedule today...two rest days in the to love it.


A few weeks back Mark Matthews(Click HERE for his blog), a local author in the Detroit area, contacted me to see if I was interested in reading and reviewing his new book, The Jade Rabbit.  As you can see on my blog, I have read quite a few running books.  It's really what interests me.  I was not sure I'd really want to do the review but the book is related to running so I said, "sure, I'll read it."

Most of the books I have read related to running are actual people telling their story about how they did this or did that.  Most have been about what their experience of running has done for them.  In fact, there are very few running books that are Fiction, like The Jade Rabbit ---- at least that I know of.

Mark's book keeps you interested in the story from the start and does a nice job also talking about one persons training for the Detroit Marathon and her quest to beat a 3 hour time along while running a non profit organization to help runaway's in the City.  The book is very well written and is a very easy read.  It didn't take me long to read at all.

While I'm not a huge fan of fiction novels, this is a story that I think most people could relate too regardless of your profession.  All of us have challenges and issues in our personal and work lives and then you add the challenge of marathon training in there too and it can become overwhelming.  You could really feel what the main character in the book was going through.
Here's a Synopsis of the book:

A female infant is abandoned by her birth-mother in a small Chinese village and spends her first ten months in an orphanage.  She is adopted and raised in the United States where she becomes a social worker in order to help children in a desolate Detroit neighborhood.  Her nickname is The Jade Rabbit and this is her story.

As director of a shelter for runaway and neglected youth, Janice Zhu Woodward gets pulled into the lives of the lost children of the Detroit streets.  Fueled by angry parents, stories of ghosts who haunt the shelter's basement, and her own history being left by a birth-mother who may have long forgotten her, Janice emulates her adoptive mother and becomes an avid, nearly obsessed marathoner.  Training injuries, failed goals, and unexpected trauma test her will and take her to her breaking point.  When a mysterious girl with dreadlocks is abandoned at the shelter's front door, Janice becomes her surrogate mother and risks everything to save her.  Only a miraculous, unforgettable run through the streets of Detroit can save them both.

And also a Biography of the author:

Mark Matthews is a therapist who has worked in the behavioral health field for twenty years.  He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, is a licensed professional counselor, and lives near Detroit with his wife and two daughters.  He has run twelve marathons including five Detroit Free Press marathons and the 2010 Boston Marathon.  His first novel, Stray, is available on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other online retailers.

The author and his family have a personal interest in adoption from China, and donate monthly to the Half The Sky Foundation.  For information, please visit:
I personally enjoyed the book very much.  Mark told me that he will be at the Detroit Marathon expo coming up in two weeks.  I suggest you look for him and pick up one of his books or go to Amazon to order it.  You'll be happy that you did.

* I received one free copy of this book in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own and I was not required to give a favorable review.

Question of the day?  What is one of your favorite running books?

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!


  1. Jeff, you have to read 'Once a Runner' it will captivate and motivate....

  2. My two favorites are Ultramarathon Man and A Race Like No Other. Both so good!

  3. Really enjoyed "What I Talk About When I Talk about Running. Have Once a Runner and Running on Empty on my nightstand