Story Plant hardcover

ISBN: 978-1-61188-242-1

Fiction Studio Books e-book

ISBN: 978-1-945839-00-9

Publication date: February 21, 2017

262 pages

Middle-aged brothers Jason and Tom Prendergast thought they were completely done with each other. Perceived betrayal had burned the bridge between them, tossing them into the icy river of estrangement.

But life – and death – has a robust sense of irony, and when they learn that their cruel father has died and made his final request that they travel together across the country to spread his ashes, they have no choice but to spend a long, long car trip in each other's company. It's either that or lose out on the contents of the envelope he's left with his lawyer.

The trip will be as gut-wrenching as each expects it to be . . . and revealing in ways neither of them is prepared for.

At turns humorous, biting, poignant, and surprisingly tender, Ashes puts a new spin on family and dysfunction with a story that is at once fresh and timelessly universal.



Steven Manchester

“Sometimes raw, always engaging, Steven Manchester’s novel is a wry and wise journey through the ruins of the American Dream.”

– William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author, Ordinary Grace

“Steven Manchester has the enviable ability to capture the intricacies of the human heart through words. Ashes is a moving novel of two brothers and their journey back to one another. A must read.”
– Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author, The Weight of Silence and Missing Pieces


Ashes is a richly developed, deeply moving tale that redefines the modern quest story. Steve Manchester's clever romp, tracing the plight of two brothers on a cross country trek to scatter their father's ashes, makes us laugh, cry and, most of all, think. Cut from the broad cloth of Philip Roth and Kurt Vonnegeut, Ashes is a literary triumph of rare depth and pathos.”

– Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author, Strong Light of Day

Ashes is a wonderfully character-driven, page-turning tale of two estranged brothers on a personal quest across the country. Their spontaneous road-trip is a bumpy one, full of twists and turns and peopled with all sorts of colorful characters along the way, but it’s also touched with humor—enough to amuse and delight the reader through a heartfelt, life-changing journey of self-discovery. Manchester’s devoted fans will find much to love in his new novel, which proves he is an author who knows how to keep readers well-entertained, while touching their hearts deeply and profoundly at the same time.”

– Julianne MacLean, USA Today bestselling author, The Color of Heaven

Ashes uses a poignant cross-country expedition to explore the shared history of an interesting pair of estranged brothers charged with fulfilling their father’s bizarre last wish. The pilgrimage twists through childhood memories of comic misdeeds and bruising misunderstandings, detours into sibling squabbles, and bounces over the ruts of problematic marriages and ornery children to arrive at an unexpectedly wonderful destination. I loved it.”

– Anne Hillerman, New York Times bestselling author, Rock with Wings

“Laughter and tenderness, heartwarming and hilarious. Recommended!”

– Ruth Harris, New York Times bestselling author, Park Avenue

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin’ Chair, Pressed Pennies, and Gooseberry Island as well as the novels Goodnight, Brian and The Changing Season. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning, and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.