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Ashes by [Manchester, Steven]
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Ashes Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 272 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product description


Ashes uses a poignant cross-country expedition to explore the shared history of an interesting pair of estranged brothers charged with fulfilling their father s bizarre last wish. The pilgrimage twists through childhood memories of comic misdeeds and bruising misunderstandings, detours into sibling squabbles, and bounces over the ruts of problematic marriages and ornery children to arrive at an unexpectedly wonderful destination. I loved it. --Anne Hillerman, New York Times bestselling author of ROCK WITH WINGS"

When two middle-aged, estranged brothers hit the road with their father s ashes in the back seat of the car, what begins as a grueling test of opposites ends up as a heroic testament to love. Ashes is a story about disappointment, dysfunctional families, and male aging, filled with observations that are both painfully true and terribly funny. Sometimes raw, always engaging, Steven Manchester s novel is a wry and wise journey through the ruins of the American Dream. --William Kent Kruger, New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of ORDINARY GRACE"

Steven Manchester has the enviable ability to capture the intricacies of the human heart through words. Ashes is a moving novel of two brothers and their journey back to one another. A must read. --Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE and MISSING PIECES"

Ashes is a wonderfully character-driven, page-turning tale of two estranged brothers on a personal quest across the country. Their spontaneous road trip is a bumpy one, full of twists and turns and peopled with all sorts of colorful characters along the way, but it s also touched with humor enough to amuse and delight the reader through a heartfelt, life-changing journey of self-discovery. Manchester s devoted fans will find much to love in his new novel, which proves he is an author who knows how to keep readers well-entertained, while touching their hearts deeply and profoundly at the same time. --Julianne MacLean, USA Today bestselling author of THE COLOR OF HEAVEN"

About the Author

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin Chair, Pressed Pennies, and Gooseberry Island as well as the novels Goodnight, Brian and The Changing Season. His work has appeared on NBC s Today Show, CBS s The Early Show, CNN s American Morning, and BET s Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester s short stories were selected 101 Best for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He lives with his family in southern Massachusetts."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5134 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Fiction Studio Books (21 Feb. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This novel captivates from the start. Two estranged brothers learn that their recently cremated Dad requires them to transport his ashes by car driving together from Salem to Seattle, East to West Coast America, to scatter them at a precise, unrecognised address. Only by proving that they have travelled the distance (about 3,000 miles) together and scattered his mortal remains to the satisfaction of his lawyer will they get access to his Will and Testament. The last wish of their father is initially treated with contempt by both brothers but they are both tempted by the possibility, albeit small, that financial reward might await them. They are also both intrigued. And eventually inquisitiveness gets the better of them. They decide to give the request a go, even although their Dad mistreated both badly as children. Very badly.
The brothers haven't spoken in 15 years and essentially hate each other. They are opposites: Tom, an educated and snobbish liberal college professor and Jason, a Prison Guard. So one brother is an intellectual and the other physical. More opposite brothers than you can ever imagine. Their experiences of life during their estrangement are as far apart as you could ever imagine.
As the journey progresses the story flows as they exchange mutual experiences from their singular point of view. Their journey is not just about the distance in miles but the opportunity to reflect on their experiences. The novel is packed with comical banter and sad reflections on opportunities lost. Usually the cause was their Dad. This novel packs every emotion into it and was a delight to read. In particular it includes a delightful poem which you can find for yourself when you read this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I’ve always been dubious about road trip books, mainly because I hadn’t read one I truly enjoyed. Ashes by Steven Manchester proved to be the exception.

Two estranged brothers must travel across America to spread their hated father’s ashes before they will learn if he left them anything. But Jason and Tom haven’t spoken for fifteen years – and neither has the desire to rekindle their relationship. Stuck in a car with each other, however, has an interesting effect and the two brothers start to reconnect.

To start with, I didn’t like Jason or Tom – one was too aggressive, the other too weak. But as their journey progressed and emotions began to be displayed (other than calling each other names), they grew on me. Behind the aggression, Jason is genuine in wanting to help people. Tom is slightly naïve, but has his heart in the right place and he cares about his brother. By the end, I wanted to give them both a hug!

Ashes touched me in a way I wasn’t expecting. Maybe I was in just the right mood to be receptive to it? Living for yourself and being happy is the most important thing in life – and the thing that often is overlooked. Ashes displays a powerful message about looking after yourself and striving for contentment.

It also focused on abuse and how fear, anger and hate can dictate our lives. It’s made clear that it didn’t have to be that way for everyone, that there is an escape and a chance to be happy.

The fact that Ashes got to me on an emotional level shows that Manchester is a strong writer. His characters were well-established and certainly three-dimensional – the two brothers discovered they had a lot of emotions to deal with.

There were a few too many meals being described but in general, the focus remained on the plot rather than the road-trip.

A short but enjoyable read that makes you think about your life choices. I would recommend it.
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By Ignite TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Feb. 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Brothers Tom and Jason Prendergast have been summoned to their late father’s lawyer’s office to be told that, unless they fulfil his wishes and scatter his ashes in Seattle, they may not inherit the contents of an envelope he’s left for them. The men, both in their fifties, have been at loggerheads for years. This looks like being the most uncomfortable road trip ever. The story moves between the present day and their constant bickering, back to their childhood, and scenes of the monstrous bullying their father subjected them to. They had each other, though, until things fell apart.

The relationship between the brothers, whose lives had taken such different paths, was initially very prickly and filled with animosity. As the story progressed, they reminisced and their relationship evolved. Their father’s final instruction brought them to the place of his choosing. At this point, they found something he’d kept from them since they were small. They found it almost too late.

The story had a lot of dark humour in it, which I enjoyed. I also loved the growing sense of trust between the warring brothers. The whole book had a kind of roundness to it, a fitness and a satisfying ending. Steven Manchester’s writing style suits this story which I enjoyed very much. Be aware that the story finishes at 81% of the book and you won’t be taken by surprise, as I was, by the end arriving when it did.

I received an advance review copy of Ashes.
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