In After the Race Michael Jones gives us a complex, skillfully-woven tale of a father and son that kept me reading. Moving smoothly between viewpoints, Jones brings us to know Wayne and his son Charles from the inside, as the flawed, struggling, and sometimes noble human beings they—like all of us—are. They come to life on the page. So do all the others who enter the story, bringing their own struggles and their own voices. Jones has a sure ear for voices, and these ring true for me. After the Race is a large story, in the hands of a writer who knows how to keep things moving. I found it absorbing, and at certain places had to remind myself to breathe.

- Joyce Allen, author of Hannah's House, Those Who Hold the Threads, and

The Threads of Earth

If you are a fan of Pat Conroy's novel The Great Santini you should welcome Michael B. Jones's new novel, After the Race. Jones stakes out his own territory in rural Virginia with the story of young Charles Reed, whose father, Wayne, is a memorably unpleasant ex-military man. Michael B. Jones shows us, in very true-to-life detail, how a man like this leaves his mark on everyone he charms, temporarily, into his orbit. The story is almost biblical. Revelations and redemptions come and go. People are almost saved; they almost save themselves. We see goodness, evil, and confusion from nearly everyone. Jones's portrayal of Charles, who is in his late teens, is done skillfully and we believe in him and his need to triumph, and yet Jones's understanding of the contradictory forces at work in Charles makes real the surprising and unusually courageous ending of this first novel.

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