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October 11, 2011
In Review: The Jade Rabbit
Rachel Phillips
His second novel, 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."
Matthews further examines the psychological benefits of running through
Janice's husband, Randall's, reading, as he learns, "...running activates a
'primitive way of looking at the world and revives ancient archetypes.' "
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.
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.  Matthews will be signing
books at Running Fit's booth at the upcoming Detroit Free Press Marathon
Health and Fitness Expo.  Look for The Jade Rabbit at Running Fit stores, on
Amazon in paperback and Ebook, Barnes & Noble (Ebook only) or on
Createspace in paperback, coupon code EGQ2PSM2 for 2 dollars off.
Twitter: @matthews_mark
Next Article: October 11, 2011