It’s not often I do reviews for books. I don’t have much time to read these days and I find that my interests have weaned away from Fiction over the years and more into health and wellness, recipe books or (most notably) children’s books. So when given the opportunity to read The Jade Rabbit by the author himself, I decided to delve back into the wonderful world of fiction again.
What struck me right off the bat was that this was a book about running. From the perspective of a runner. And it was interesting to delve into the mind of a damaged woman who uses running as her medicine for coping with the adversity and heartbreak that have plagued her throughout her life. As someone who used running to conquer post partum depression, I can attest to the power pounding the pavement has on both our mental and physical health.
As a social worker who directs a shelter for youth at risk, Janice struggles with her own abandonment issues as an infant left by the side of the road in China never to know her birth mother. Adopted into a Western family, Janice grows up in America and models after her adoptive mother in both career and passion for running. Unlike her mother, Janice has always fallen short of her ultimate goal of a sub-3hr marathon and is in the process of training hard to meet this goal when her life path leads to to a dread-locked girl with a past that quickly intertwines itself into Janice’s present.
I loved reading this story through Janice’s point of view and being able to visualize the importance and near-obsessive passion that running has in her life. Often time, we read these types of books and running is just a background activity with no depth as far as the character is concerned. Here, the author uses it to expose us to another layer of his main character’s deep routed pain and gives us an insight as to why his Jade Rabbit turns to running to calm her spirit.
About the Author: Mark Matthews is a therapist who has worked in the behavioural 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 and the 2010 Boston Marathon.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book to read and review. No monetary compensation was provided and all options expressed are strictly my own.