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The Jade Rabbit

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  31 reviews
(2nd 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 dire
Paperback, 258 pages
Published August 22nd 2011
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Average rating 3.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  99 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it
This is my second read of Mark Matthews and again, I really enjoyed his storylines and particularly his characters. I might have enjoyed Stray a little more (probably because of the dogs) but as a recreational endurance "athlete" I connected with this book as well! The book went fast for me, and I always think it is a unique talent for a guy to be able to write from a girls' perspective. Definitely worth downloading!
Ann Lee
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Jade Rabbit was simply beautiful. This inspiring story captivates your attention while telling an inspirational story. I was moved by the characters, this is a five star well written book.
Literary  Chanteuse
Apr 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: hen-lit
3.5 stars
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Her husband Randall calls her Sweet J; the kids at the Shelter call her Ms. Janice. Zhu is the name she was given by the Chinese orphanage where she lived after being given up by her China-Mama, before she was adopted by her American parents. Number 1242 is the number she will be wearing as she runs her next marathon.

All these things have shaped her: her abandonment by her mother who was trying for a boy; her loving adoptive parents; her training for runs; her happy marriage; and her work as th
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This was a very atypical read for me because I usually read mystery/suspense or romance books purely for entertainment. I am SO glad I read this thought provoking book. A little background knowledge about me will help you understand why this book touched me. I am a teacher at a community college. I teach developmental reading classes. My students come from all walks of life, many having grown up in environments that I cannot imagine since I come from a mid-western, two parent, middle class home. ...more
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Jade Rabbit was recommended to me directly from the author, Mark Matthews. We have followed each other on Twitter since winning Little Century by Anna Keesey through a Friday Reads giveaway. My Twitter profile states that I enjoy books with strong female characters so he aptly plugged one of his books.

I purchased The Jade Rabbit and met Janice Zhu Woodward. Jan is an interesting lady, struggling with a myriad of related issues. Abandoned at birth in China, she was adopted by an American cou
Nov 26, 2011 rated it liked it
This is the second novel that I've read from Mark Matthews, and I wasn't disappointed. I confess that I felt more connected to Stray than The Jade Rabbit, but I think that's mostly because I've never been inside the head of a true runner before.

In my opinion the story takes place in a couple of different places: Janice's head and heart, Detroit and China. While the storyline of China wasn't as prevalent as the prior it struck me the most. I have not had any previous experience with adoption in t
Peter Rosch
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A Must-Read I'm Fortunate to Have Found

"We regret to report that the large majority of the population finds the howl of a universe in pain to be wonderful background noise while shopping, golfing, and watching football..."

In recent memory I've not read a book that captured the delicate balance between the dark forces of everyday life and the hope that keeps most of us going. Hope might not be the right word. I find it far easier to review a novel when it is seriously flawed, and extremely diffic
Danica Page (One Page at a Time)
This was a book that I never naturally would have picked up to read had I not been asked to review. And I would have been seriously deprived had I not done so. This book was so good.

This book was one that blurred the lines of fantasy and reality. It caused me to feel, to think, to ponder, and to dream. This book left an imprint on me. There are some books that after reading, you are forever changed—this was one of those books for me. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read this.

Mark Matthew’s
Angela Oliver
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was something a little unusual for me to read, something I selected because it was free for my kindle and every so often you just want to read something a little different. And it engrossed me. I was interested in Hailey's plight, and indeed the whole situation of the Moonlight home intrigued me - it's not something I've ever read about - social work with strays and runaways and Matthews wrote it so authoritively one knew that he had worked in the field too. I also do not run, but the descr ...more
Diane Strong
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Jade Rabbit is written from the view of an adult Chinese woman who was abandoned as an infant in China and adopted by an American couple.

I imagine, if I were adopted, I would be able to relate more to the pain this woman experiences. I can only assume the author was adopted, or at the very least has much experience with the feeling of a person who has been.

The main character, Jan, is a runner...and that I can relate to. I understood her sometimes crazy thinking when it came to the desire to
Oct 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Though the Jade Rabbit is not a story about marathoning, you can tell Mark is an experienced marathoner. The details about running and racing were dead on.

The story is about a social worker who helps lost kids find their way while she is still finding her way through aspects of her life as an adopted child.

The stories of Jasmine, Sharlene and Hailey were interwoven so smoothly. The parallels between the stories dawn upon the reader like happy surprises. Scenes where Jasmine's thoughts were mov
Laura Macmillan
This review is from: The Jade Rabbit (Kindle Edition)

This is a beautifully written book that deals with international adoption and the feelings of the main character, who, despite having a wonderful adoptive Mom & Dad, struggles with the same "whys" as many other adoptees. Also has an intriguing sub-plot related to her work, and an interesting back-story about marathon runners-in-training.

Lots going on here, but this is not a fast-moving adventure story. This book is more character-driven, and
Claudia Harrington
Mar 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Every time I read this book it made me want to go for a jog :). I picked this book because it was free for my Kindle. I like the tittle and the brief descriptions of it, although I found it to be a sad story, I really enjoyed some of the characters, specially Charline. There was too much running for taste but if you like training for a marathon and are into running you may like all the bits about that in this book.
Jun 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Janice is woman who is dealing with emotions and feelings of being adopted as a child from China. She is also a social worker that manages a home for children who are being abused or kicked out. She is in the process of training for a marathon and while she trains the reader learns her inner most thoughts of what she is thinking.

It is a easy read. It has some twists and turns and flashbacks that are sometimes hard to follow, but overrall a good clean book.
Nov 20, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a very touching book about a woman looking to find her way while helping runaway children. I enjoyed reading about the "China Mamas" that abandoned she and her friend and the life they have now. She is a director of a children's shelter and a marathon running and it all intertwines with her life. I truly enjoyed the way Mr. Matthews brought it all together.
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
A friend has started long distance running which is why I picked up this kindle freebie, but was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. There's quite a bit about the psychology of long-distance running and why people do it, which I found interesting - though it hasn't made me take it up myself!
I wasn't entirely sure about this book when I began reading it. This book was well written, however there were a few minor things that I personally didn't enjoy. The story line itself was great though. I do recommend this book.
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really liked that this book took place in Detroit, also really made you understand what it would be like to run a marathon.
Tabitha Ormiston-Smith
May 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is awesome!
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gregory Strosaker
Dec 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
A good read, a bit of a change from my usual fare. Posted my full review at ...more
Carrie Kitze
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I downloaded this book for free on the Kindle and just stumbled on it as I sat on a plane lamenting that I had finished the book I had brought with me. This appears to be a first novel by an adoptive parent writing about the deepest thoughts his adoptive daughter from China might have about her mother and "China-mama." Scattered throughout are some trite "adoptionisms" as only the China adoption community can exude. The co-opted Red Thread legend is woven in here even though it is not for adopti ...more
Barbara Tsipouras
Being a great fan of Mark Matthews' writing I chose this book although I knew it was about running. And I just hate running. What makes a person deliberately torture themselves?

Yes, this story is about running - and I start to understand why it can be fascinating.
But it's focus is not only on running, it's about abandonment and finding one's identity.
Physical and psychical experiences are tied together in a way I've never read before.

Susan Krich
Oct 31, 2011 rated it liked it
I liked the book. Three separate plot lines - past, present, & future. The number of typos ( words spelled correctly but not the correct context 86 waver for wafer)and missing words caused me to pause to read the paragraph again. This detracted from my enjoyment of the story. This may be the fault of the editing and formatting rather than the author. Add a star if you are someone who runs. ...more
May 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
I would give this book 2 1/2 stars. This was a free book for my kindle. It isn't bad, it just didn't grab me. It's not a big page turner. I did want to finish it to find out how it ended, but it took me awhile because it was a slow moving story. I did enjoy the running aspect of the book.
Apr 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Enjoyable story. I read it because it was set in the Detroit area, since I live in the suburbs. But, the way the book was written, it really could have been set anywhere - it really didn't go into the Detroit area much.
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked this one better than Stray. I found both of them to be too spiritual and introspective for my taste, but they're a great choice if you're into reading that style.
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
O.k read I obviously finished it but not worth your time in my opinion.
Mary Hickman
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it
I really loved the parts in this book about running, but I couldn't relate with the rest of the story.
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Goodreads Authors...: The Jade Rabbit free 5/31 & 6/1 3 15 May 31, 2012 01:03PM  
Goodreads Authors...: Free on Amazon "The Jade Rabbit" 2 12 Dec 10, 2011 06:10PM  

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Mark Matthews is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a licensed professional counselor who has worked in behavioral health for over 20 years. He is the author of On the Lips of Children, All Smoke Rises, and Milk-Blood, as well as the editor of Lullabies for Suffering and Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror. Matthews has run 13 marathons, and has two running based books, The Jade ...more

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