(Second Edition - New Edits as of December, 2011) 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... show more
(Second Edition - New Edits as of December, 2011) 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 of 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. EDITORIAL REVIEW: Rachel Phillips, The Outdoor Athlete, October 11, 2011 Mark Matthews' The Jade Rabbit follows the life of Janice Zhu Woodward as she embarks upon a rigorous marathon-training program. Amidst the pressures and stress of her career as director of a shelter for runaway and neglected youth in Detroit, the psychological, spiritual and physical components of distance running present themselves in vivid detail. Nicknamed The Jade Rabbit, Woodward relies upon running to give her mental strength, to come to conclusions, process complex problems and, as her adoptive mother describes it: "Running boils all the unnecessary garbage out and just the truths rise to the top." From the beginning to the end of her training runs, the complexities of Janice's career and personal life converge within her mind, becoming manageable problems and enabling her to cope with unforeseen, and often unwelcome, obstacles. An interest in Detroit and knowledge of the city's history and present-day struggles make this an especially emotionally-charged novel and a must-read for anyone familiar with or curious about the psychological benefits associated with distance running.