Mark your calendars. The ebook version of END OF THE RACE is on sale again!
August 8 through August 28
We write because we need to, we write because we love it, we write for release—and then we wait for the affirmation of others. Below, just to whet your appetite, are some reviews END OF THE RACE from professionals and readers.
Diane Donovan, Midwest Reviews
Readers of women’s fiction who enjoy stories of challenge, transformation, and already-strong women forced to examine the foundations of their beliefs and lives will find End of the Race weaves mystery, intrigue, and self-inspection in a vivid, realistic manner. …
… The story grabs reader attention from the start and maintains its hard-hitting twists and turns to the end. This contemporary novel is thoroughly engrossing and highly recommended for women’s fiction readers who seek tales firmly rooted in relationship changes and new beginnings.
Vincent Dublado, Readers’ Favorite Reviews *****
… End of the Race perfectly captures the drama of domestic life and competitive sports, skewering the hypocrisy of society. Annika’s in-laws are a staggering portrayal of misplaced emphasis on self-image, and the storyline as a whole is gorgeously written and effectively plotted. It is rough and unsparing in its depiction of human flaws and unique in its dissection of a certain kind of social pressure endemic in today’s competitive world. Author Judith Kirscht knows how to get you involved in every moment of the unfolding drama, sustaining the tension and mystery by giving you a sensational story that is also a slice of reality. Kirscht’s nuance and a fine eye for existential angst make End of the Race a highly recommended read for its unflinching look at heartbreak, family, loss, and dreams.
An athlete reflects on her life after her husband’s sudden disappearance in Kirscht’s novel. … Kirscht creates a multilayered story that will keep readers engaged with unexpected plot turns that confound expectations. The narrative keeps up a steady momentum, and the character development via conversations and inner monologues helps give depth to their journeys.
A well-thought-out story about a resilient woman who discovers her true strength.
Chanticleer Reviews *****
An intricate mystery set in a small fictional town in northern Michigan, End of the Race is contemporary fiction at its finest. …
… Kirscht keeps readers on the edge of their seats as she delicately deepens the mystery of Brian Wolfson’s disappearance.
A riveting mystery *****
An excellent book by Judith Kirscht. Carefully crafted, this intricate family mystery will take hold of you in the first chapter, and won’t let you go until the very end. Kirscht sweeps you into the specialized worlds of competitive swimming and big-water sailing and into the life-and-death issues of rabidly intense extended-family politics. She never hits a false note.
A gripping story *****
Judith Kirscht’s riveting novel, End of the Race, held my attention from the start.
The story originates in Traverse Bay, Michigan, 2007. Brian Wolfson has gone missing. His wife, Annika, is frantic with worry; their daughter, Sadie, only six, cannot understand why her daddy doesn’t come home. Brian has been on a two-week ocean sailing trip, but when Annika and Sadie go to pick him up at the airport, he isn’t there.
The story has flashbacks to 1984 when Brian and Annika were children and continue through their marriage and the birth of their daughter. Both are athletic, accomplished swimmers. Although Brian can no longer swim competitively due to a knee injury caused by a careless accident, Annika is an Olympic hopeful; Brian her coach. As the story takes place, the Olympic qualifications loom. Annika is recovering her strength after she miscarried their second child, but now, with Brian missing, she’s too distraught to think of the daunting practice she should be doing.
Judith Kirscht writes with authority on competitive swimming and brings the reader into the world of racing and the physical and mental stamina it requires. The novel also includes sailing—her descriptions of a boat slicing through water as the sails catch the wind are breathtaking.
End of the Race is a gripping story. Kirscht, a native of the Great Lakes region, does a skillful job of describing the state’s terrain and waterways. The author develops the characters realistically, and I could sympathize with their fears and anxieties. I highly recommend End of the Race.
Absorbing storytelling *****
Childhood friends Annika and Brian, now married with a young daughter, have long encouraged and coached each other as champion swimmers with an eye to Olympic gold. After suffering a knee injury, sidelined Brian transfers all his competitive hopes to Annika. Then she gets pregnant, suffers a miscarriage, and Brian disappears without a trace. The mystery and weight of his disappearance pervades the rest of the novel, a story of explosive inter- and intra-family rivalries, ambition, regret, love, disappointment, anxiety, and the weight of past events upon the present. Alternating narrative segments between then and now, Kirscht has a sharp eye for meaningful detail and an assured style that smoothly carries the reader through the story. Her descriptions of the mechanics of sailing and swimming, each favored by different branches of the family, root the narrative in vivid specifics while retaining focus on what gives meaning to Annika’s life. Bit by bit the truth behind the mystery is revealed, and the characters evolve into a new reality that is both plausible and satisfying.
Compelling Story *****
End of the Race draws you in from the first vivid scenes in Lake Michigan to the Olympic pool in Athens. The mystery surrounding the seemingly idyllic relationship between Annika, an Olympic swimmer, and her husband/coach Brian, keeps you turning the pages. The characters are well developed, and their relationships are complex. End of the Race blends ambition, heartbreak, bitterness and forgiveness to reveal the strengths and limits of family bonds. With authentic descriptions of competitive swimming and sailing, along with vivid scenes from the beaches of Lake Michigan, the reader will enjoy the journey to the end of the race.