Ashes

Ashes

by Steven Manchester

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Overview

Ashes by Steven Manchester

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945839009
Publisher: Fiction Studio Books
Publication date: 02/21/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 719,630
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers TWELVE MONTHS, THE ROCKIN' CHAIR, PRESSED PENNIES, and GOOSEBERRY ISLAND, as well as the national bestseller THE CHANGING SEASON and the novel GOODNIGHT, BRIAN. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning, and BET's Nightly News.

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Ashes 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite When estranged brothers Tom and Jason Prendergast are informed of the death of their father, a rare shared emotion of relief flits briefly across their individual minds. The man was evil. Always putting brother against brother, degrading each son at every opportunity. With the news of his death, neither Jason nor Tom gave any thought to the other. Until they read a stipulation that required the boys, now men, to travel across the country together to dispose of their father’s ashes. While tantalized by the mysterious dangling of a golden carrot under the guise of a last will and testament, Jason and Tom set off on a dangerously uncomfortable road trip. Having nothing in common but their disdain for their father, the two Prendergast siblings endure many miles of emotional digs at one another’s character. While Jason has devoted his life to working with incarcerated men in the courts correctional system, Tom has spent the same amount of years in a more civilized business world as CEO of Silver Lining Aeronautics. Never thinking it possible to appreciate the other’s life choices, the Prendergast brothers survive the cross country trip with the ashes of their father in tow. Ashes by Steven Manchester is a heartwarming tale of emotionally bruised brothers separated by the abuse of their alcoholic, gambling father. While at times pleasantly predictable, the reader witnesses a transition in language and actions that strengthens an ancient, buried bond between the brothers. At the conclusion of their physical journey, Jason and Tom make a discovery that changes their lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Found it hard to believe thaat two brothers who haven't spoken in 15 years would drive across country to spread their fathers ashes since they both hated him.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
Jason and Tom Prendergast were raise in a very dysfunctional family. Their father was an alcoholic and very physically and verbally abusive to the brothers. The brothers were inseparable until one situation drove a wedge between them. They have grown up and have created their own lives as a prison guard and teacher. Then they learn that their father has died and left them an inheritance with a stipulation. If they want the inheritance then they have to drive across the country to spread his ashes in Seattle. Neither brother really wants to do this but curiosity gets the better of them. They reluctantly agree to this last request/order from their father. Jason and Tom are complete opposites to each other from their profession to even the kinds of foods that they eat. Neither really wants to be around the other and they spend their time nitpicking and annoying each other. But the longer they are around each other, they start reminiscing about the past and come to the thing that drove the wedge between them. I really enjoyed this story. As much as Jason and Tom irritate each other they irritated me too. But the more you learn about their past and how messed up their home life was, it makes sense. I couldn’t help but feel bad for the brothers. But there was more than one place I was laughing at how they messed with each other, I can see me doing that to my own brother. This is a great story and one that I think everyone will like. I recommend everyone check it out. I received Ashes from Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Every once in a while an author comes along who writes novels that are so powerfully compelling, poignant, and thought provoking, that they pull at the heartstrings and stir the soul. For me, that author is Steven Manchester and his latest novel, Ashes. Ashes is a wonderful story about the complicated dynamics of family relationships that will simply pull at your emotional heartstrings. Author Steven Manchester weaves a richly descriptive tale that follows the cross country journey of estranged middle-aged brothers Jason and Tom Prendergast, when they are forced to travel together to fulfill their father's last wishes of scattering his ashes in Seattle, Washington. Traveling from Salem, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington, the brothers' journey is filled with humor, sibling rivalry, animosity, unresolved dysfunctional family issues, regrets, and an emotional chance to renew the bonds of brotherhood. The reader will be easily captivated and drawn into the brothers' sentimental and touchingly realistic journey. The author does a wonderful job of intertwining the brothers' traumatic childhood past with the difficulties that they face in their present lives. You can't help but get swept away and experience the full gamut of emotions as the brothers face a crossroad in their lives as they hash out their unresolved dysfunctional family dynamic, while considering the intense and difficult choices of how to deal with their current life issues. Ashes is an powerful and compelling story written from the heart. It is a must read that will make you ponder your own family dynamic, stir your soul, and resonate with you for a very long time. Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Every once in a while an author comes along who writes novels that are so powerfully compelling, poignant, and thought provoking, that they pull at the heartstrings and stir the soul. For me, that author is Steven Manchester and his latest novel, Ashes. Ashes is a wonderful story about the complicated dynamics of family relationships that will simply pull at your emotional heartstrings. Author Steven Manchester weaves a richly descriptive tale that follows the cross country journey of estranged middle-aged brothers Jason and Tom Prendergast, when they are forced to travel together to fulfill their father's last wishes of scattering his ashes in Seattle, Washington. Traveling from Salem, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington, the brothers' journey is filled with humor, sibling rivalry, animosity, unresolved dysfunctional family issues, regrets, and an emotional chance to renew the bonds of brotherhood. The reader will be easily captivated and drawn into the brothers' sentimental and touchingly realistic journey. The author does a wonderful job of intertwining the brothers' traumatic childhood past with the difficulties that they face in their present lives. You can't help but get swept away and experience the full gamut of emotions as the brothers face a crossroad in their lives as they hash out their unresolved dysfunctional family dynamic, while considering the intense and difficult choices of how to deal with their current life issues. Ashes is an powerful and compelling story written from the heart. It is a must read that will make you ponder your own family dynamic, stir your soul, and resonate with you for a very long time. Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review.
AngRI More than 1 year ago
My Review: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. If you have been following for any amount of time, you will know that I am a big Steven Manchester fan. He always knows how to get to the heart of things and tends to make my cry every book I read. Well this one was a little different than his previous books and I jumped at the chance to read it. While the tearful moments were less than I usually get from his books, it still gets down to the heart of emotions. I love how this book manages to really capture the relationship between brothers, both estranged but even after years still read each other so well. The banter back and forth between Tom and Jason is quick, often biting but always with a bit of love behind it. You really get to ride along with them on their cross country trip, you feel like you are there watching them come to terms with their lots in life and regain some of what is lost. Ashes really brings it all home to family, whether that is always a good thing or not, family is always at the core of who we are and who we become. My Rating: This is another really great book from Steven, and while it wasn't quite the tear jerker that I am used to from him, it still had just as much connection and emotions involved. I was definitely chuckling a few times and thinking 'I know someone like this'. I can't help but give this book a rating of Four Paws!
RebeccaK22 More than 1 year ago
It is no secret that Steven Manchester has quickly become one of my very favorite authors. He writes with such feeling and expression that it is easy to lose yourself in his stories. With Ashes, Steven's latest offering, he delves into the relationship between two estranged brothers and the trick their not-so-dearly departed father plays on them to bring them together once more. 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. I am always excited to read Steven's books and this one was no exception. I can wholeheartedly recommend this book.
BooksDirect More than 1 year ago
College professor Tom Prendergast, and his estranged brother, Jason, a prison officer, go on a cross-country road trip to Seattle to scatter the ashes of their sadistic father. Neither of them wants to do it, but they are both curious to discover the contents of their father's letter, which will only be read once they have completed their mission and return to Massachusetts. The brothers haven't seen each other in fifteen years, for reasons which are eventually revealed. Alternating chapters give us each brother's point-of-view and allow us to see how their opinions of each other change throughout the course of the book. During their trip, they recall the happy times in their childhood, but they also remember the cruelty and humiliation endured at the hands of their monster of a father. It was a time when the brothers formed a united front and relied on each other for protection. This is a realization they will come back to, even while they now find themselves bickering, like the kids they were, over such topics as radio stations, gambling, sex, the death penalty, helping strangers, and religion. There is a bit too much toilet humor for my liking, but I guess that's how two brothers would talk to each other. We discover that Jason, who initially appears to be a boorish oaf, is, in fact, a caring, compassionate, and honorable man, while the educated and sophisticated Tom is actually a spineless coward. We watch both brothers grow as the trip progresses, and we get to see how their lives change after this momentous road trip. Suffice it to say, their father helps bring his sons back together, and he gives them a very special surprise I did not see coming. Full of drama, tragedy, and humor, this story will stay with you for a long time. I received this book in return for an honest review. Full blog post (17 March): https://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com/2017/03/ashes-by-steven-manchester.htm
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Talk about a dysfunctional family! These two brothers can’t stand each other. They dislike their miserable excuse for a father even more. He’s even found a way to torture them after his death. He even tricked them after his death. Now they have to spend days together traveling cross country to dump his ashes which are riding in the back seat. It’s a very interesting though uncomfortable journey. Secrets come out both during and after the journey. I can’t really say anything more or I might give the plot away. Just believe me when I say I’ve never met a Steven Manchester book I didn’t like. This one measures up as one I just can’t get out of my head. I hope you have another book out soon, Mr. Manchester. I’m addicted to your writing. ***I received this book free of charge from The Story Plant.*** Review by sunny island breezes
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
How can you possibly resolve years of bitterness and resentment between two estranged brothers Jason and Tom Prendergast? Require them to complete a task together that neither has the option to say No to. Growing up together under the cruel hand of their father, both boys longed to find the quickest way out of the home growing up and the way their father raised them created some of the competitiveness and animosity between the two. When they both are informed that their father has finally died, they are each requested at the reading of their father's will. Neither is too happy to see the other. Yet when the lawyer informs them that their father has one final request of them both before they will know what he has left them, they are quite sure whether it is something they can do without killing the other. They must travel together to retrieve their father's ashes and then drive across country with one another to spread his ashes in Seattle. Only then will the contents of the letter reveal what they will each receive. The stipulation requires that they have to travel together, and they must document their journey of completing the tasks with photos for the attorney to know they have completed their father's final request. Like most siblings, their are those hard feelings that are difficult to put behind one another, but for these two, it is more of a hate/hate relationship. Both have harbored strong feelings against the other for the way they were raised and what was allowed to happen to them. It has driven a wedge against them that will be almost impossible to find a way to work together. Many miles separate the time it will take to get from one side of the country to the other, but how is this even going to work when they can't even agree on who will drive, where they will stay and even the quickest route to take so they can get this over and done with. Is this the final straw of bitterness that their father had in mind when he drafted his will? Or does he have something better in mind? I received Ashes by Steven Manchester compliments of The Story Plant and Partners in Crime Book Tours. I have read everything he has written and he truly takes you into the heart of places you don't want to go, but find yourself compelled to go anyway just to see how it all turns out in the end. This reminded me of a movie called Faith of our Fathers in which two very similar brothers had to travel together to get to the war memorial for their father. It shows that underneath it all, no matter how you feel about one another, blood is thicker than one might think and sometimes it is the misunderstandings and how we interpret them that create the walls that don't really exist except in our own mind. I would give this one a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion based on my own rating system and that this one does contain some profanity that might offend some readers.
Books2Mention1 More than 1 year ago
"Ashes is a fascinating read about two brothers, Jason and Tom Prendergast, who are forced to come together after the death of their father. It is an interesting read about family, forgiveness and healing." "Jason is a Corrections Officer and Tom is a College Professor. Both men have tried to move beyond their troubled childhood. However, traces from the effects of the abuse are revealed once they embark upon this unwanted journey to fulfill their father's last request." "Jason and Tom have their own preconceived views of each other. Old memories and old feelings are unearthed. During the duration of the trip they learn more about one another and discover they may have prejudged each other unfairly." "Will these brothers be able to develop a mutual respect and build a bond that will allow them to move forward and have a closer relationship? Moving past the sins of their father will be the test." "Steven Manchester, once again pens a thought provoking read that is enlightening and leaves a lasting impression on readers."
WolfFaerie17 More than 1 year ago
Tom and Jason Prendergast are about to go out on a journey set by their late father. The brothers must travel to Seattle, Washington to spread their father's ashes. The brothers don't have much use for one another and drifted apart over the years. This enforced time together is a recipe for disaster or so they think. Little did either of them know they'd both experience a closeness unlike anything they experienced growing up. Can Tom and Jason get along? Or will the past haunt them even more? Your answers await you in Ashes. Steven Manchester has written another masterful tale about family, relationships, and the power of faith. His characters are real, raw, bold, honest, compelling, and complex. The story sucks you in from first to last page without stopping. It's always a treat reading Steven's work. I look forward to my next adventure with this amazing author.
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
Ashes by Steven Manchester Have read other works by the author and know I will enjoy this one also as storyline sounds very interesting, something I'd like to do one day. Jason and Tom have one mission after their father has passed away-to deliver his ashes to a location in Seattle. They do leave the Boston area and we find them on the road. It's a very angry hateful ride but they do find some insistence they remember from their past years when they were younger, living at home. Lessons are cruel. Language is cruel at times but necessary to get you in the frame of mind of the scenes. Jason is the guard at the prison and Tom is a professor. Love bantering between the two as they are able to laugh at one another... Love travel along the way and the places they stay-learning a bit about them. End of the journey was quite a shock to me and they learn so much about their life. Like also that the story continued on as we see the changes they each made. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end. I received this from the author and this is my honest review.
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
Brother’s who have been estranged for 15 years are brought together by their ***-hole father’s death. They are to travel across the country to spread their father’s ashes in Seattle. They bicker, they reminisce, and they reconnect during this time. There is nothing easy about their trip but they make it through it. They don’t expect to put the past behind them, they are doing this trip to get the mysterious envelope their father left them on the contingent that they take his ashes to Seattle. Jason and Tom are good brothers. They grew up with only their horrible father and his horrible temper protecting each other. Until something happen and they had a fall out that they could not get past. During their travels they manage to find some of their past connections and learn about where they have ended up. It seemed with every step forward there was a step back. A lot of criticism of the choices they made but I had the feeling that they could do that to each other yet they would defend each other to anyone else. The reactions, conversations, and understandings that Jason and Tom had with each other rang true to me. Jason and Tom acted as real siblings are. Ashes by Steven Manchester is phenomenal. He knows just how far to push his characters without them losing their realistic characteristics. His talent with pulling his readers in and opening their hearts to his story is amazing. I am a huge fan of Steven Manchester. As I expected, Ashes pulled me in, tugged at my heart, and made me appreciate my siblings a little more.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Two brothers, Jake and Tom Prendergast, who couldn’t possibly be more different, are about to take a life-transforming journey! But first we meet them individually. When we first meet Jake, he’s giving a “scared straight” speech to a bunch of juvenile delinquents. The reader wants to think it’s all a bit of a stretch, but it doesn’t take long before we know he’s speaking about what he’s seen as a security officer in an adult prison. No, it’s definitely not pretty! Tom is a college professor who is annoyed to find out his father has died. The reader wonders immediately about what has elicited such disdain! Both brothers are called to their father’s lawyer’s office, only to hear the father is leaving them an envelope they may not open until they travel cross-country to spread his ashes. If they refuse, they get nothing. But then nothing is what their father always gave them, nothing but grief that is. The journey is bittersweet indeed as Jake and Tom insult each other through half of the journey while they reminisce about their brutal father who wasn’t just happy at beating them but had to see blood to make him happy. Sadist extraordinaire! But then the continuous clashes start to slightly alter as they find themselves reminiscing about their childhood and then later about their experiences as husbands and fathers. These interspersed tender moments begin to open the brothers toward each other, along with some very funny scenes as Tom gawks at his brother’s humongous appetite and Jake gapes at Tom’s snooty tastes in food and wine. There’s a lovely ending which the reader must experience without a spoiler and which almost makes one want to read it all over again! Steven Manchester is great at presenting a simple plot but his real gift is on depicting the variations of temperament in characters in such a wonderfully moving manner. One gets to know and love his characters no matter what the ups and downs of the conflict between them. Finely crafted contemporary fiction once again, Steven Manchester – a MUST read that deserves the widest possible audience!
essvagon More than 1 year ago
Book Review: When death mends broken bridges, family wounds will heal. Ashes By Steven Manchester Brothers Jason and Tom Prendergast have been estranged for most of their adult lives. Judgement and betrayal, perceived that is, kept them apart until the death of their father forces them into a room again. They hated their father only slightly more than each other. The only way he knew how to raise his two sons was to beat them into submission. His dying wish was for his sons to drive across the U.S. from the Eastern coast to the Pacific coast to scatter his ashes upon arrival. The will stipulates they would not get the contents of the will until that task was accomplished. The second stipulation was they had to drive together in the same car. Author Steven Manchester takes a step away from his award winning family-oriented style content with this gritty edgier story. However Ashes is bound to win just as many awards. This story is darker in nature as it takes you deep into the heart of a rough childhood and the subsequent heartache that accompanies familial betrayal. It takes a look at how perceptions can ruin a relationship. When walls are built to protect ones heart sometimes it isolates rather than heals. That is until a sledgehammer of a journey drives a wedge down the middle. This journey of two brothers rediscovering the bond they had as children is a magnificent story as they heal the wounds of their hearts. Two grown men brought to their knees in a splendid twist of circumstances. Through the Ashes rise the Phoenix and through the pain these two become whole again. Manchester has dug deep into the well of dysfunctional archetypes in this masterful story. His characters grow before your eyes as the journey they take is much more than the physical one. The character's emotions are put through the ringer as they heal mentally finally putting their horrendous past to rest. The reader can't help but take this journey along side them as if a passenger in the back seat. It's funny at moments, it's tearful at moments it is a story with real heart. Be sure to visit Steven Manchester's website for prequels to this novel. Stories you won't want to miss. FTC Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this title by The Story Plant for review purposes only; no other compensation was awarded.
T-Bones More than 1 year ago
With all the stopping to think about things, in a good way, this title took a while for me to read. I really enjoyed the interaction between the brothers. They reminded me, a bit, of the guys from the sitcom Yes Dear and a little bit of The Odd Couple. As for the ending and what the mystery of their journey was, I was totally off on where I thought things were going. I highly recommend this book and look forward to more Manchester reads.
xxBianca More than 1 year ago
Estranged brothers, Tom and Jason Prendergast have one thing in common. An abhorrence towards their alcoholic and abusive father. The man left years of scars that no one can see. Scars that no one understands, but them. It’s been years since they have seen each other. It’s not until their father’s death that they are forced to face each other again. Tension is high. Neither brother willing to let go of the deception of the other. Even in death, their father haunts them. He’s made a demand for them to drive across the country to scatter his ashes. It’s a stipulation that neither brother wants to participate in, but because of circumstances, they both decide to do so. And it will forever change the trajectory of their lives. This book is so much more than a journey. It’s an experience. Tom and Jason relive a lot of the pain caused by their father as they embark on this long drive together. Their pain is deep and full of layers that neither knew existed. They realize just how much their past currently affects them. There is also anger and resentment. The betrayal is something that these brothers can’t simply put behind them. It’s at the forefront of everything. Their resentment and their inability to move on. I don’t want to talk too much about the plot. But the author is definitely talented in his ability to truly allow the reader to feel the depth of emotions and connections of these characters. I’d like to admit something. I am usually a contemporary romance kind of reader. And this has no romance at all. But when I read the blurb, something spoke to me. I felt like this was a story that I needed to read. And I am so glad I did. The writing is absolutely magnetic with it’s refined prose and compelling storyline. The author is definitely a master in his craft of storytelling as he allows the reader to completely resonate with his characters’ story. You feel their pain and sorrow, but also their joy and laughter. These men are older than the characters I’m used to reading about, yet I found myself completely enthralled by what these two have been through and what was to come. The way this book was executed and written, allowed me to emotionally connect with the character regardless of our differences. Ashes was a poignant and thought provoking read for me. The story is so much deeper than any review could ever describe. The author tactfully covers so many relevant and sensitive topics. And he does so with a decorum that I found to be admirable. This was my first read by this author and definitely not my last.
DiverseReaderMK More than 1 year ago
This is the first Steven Manchester book I've read. Typically I read LGBTQ books and this is not in that category but I feel like it's a book that sort of folds into all the genres. I didn't know quite what to expect from this author or the story. My first thought upon reading the synopsis was, emotional. I wasn't wrong with my initial thought. There are all sorts of emotions that come out to play in this. There was a constant twinge of familiarity when reading this book. I myself am estranged from my sister so I really fell into the brothers, Jason and Tom. No, I'm nowhere near reconciliation but there were times I found myself nodding or internally arguing with Tom or Jason. I understood far too much. On the other side of all this was their father. They hold the ashes of a man who was truly cruel. Mentally and physically abusive. He had more love for the bottle than he did for either of his sons. There's a whispering "good riddance" that echoes throughout this book that this man, a tormentor, is gone. Meeting Tom and Jason, they're opposites and it's very evident. Jason, an almost retired prison guard who drives a truck, smokes, and is gritty. Tom is a salad eating, prim & proper college professor. They clash over everything! This is a book about a journey two brothers take and end up reconnecting. Of course that was never their intention to do so. Originally, it's the morbid curiosity to see what's in the envelope their father left them. Of course they get nothing unless they travel together to scatter his ashes. I loved the writing. There's such depth and emotion in this story and in the characters. These brothers rediscover each other and realize different isn't always bad. You'll laugh, cry, you'll rage and get frustrated. But in the end you won't be sorry.
fuzzmom More than 1 year ago
“Tom and Jason, brothers who grew up rough, pitted against each other by a father who was harsh, cruel and unforgiving. Now Adults, they do just fine apart, thank you very much! Then their father dies and when his will is read, they get a shock. They have to travel cross country, to scatter his ashes then return to find out the contents of an envelope. Two very different men, each scarred in his own way, drive each other crazy as they make their way toward the West Coast. Memories surface, opening old wounds. Slowly, they begin to see that they maybe could find a way to connect as adults, in spite of their dad. The end of their quest brings more bitterness. But their newfound brotherhood may just survive one more dig from good old dad. At times hard to read, both man’s pain raw and festering, it gives a look into an eventual triumph over a dysfunctional start.”
Tristate More than 1 year ago
Jason, a college professor, and his estranged brother, Tom Prendergast, a prison corrections officer both received letters from a lawyer. Their abusive father had passed away and his will stated that the brothers were to drive his ashes from Salem, Mass to a specific address in Seattle, Washington for their final resting place. Upon completion the brothers would receive a sealed envelope from their father. The men weren’t even allowed to take a plane because their father had been afraid to fly. Before the drive even started each middle-aged brother’s habits and/or personalities started appearing and irritating each other. There is humor, sadness and insight as the trip proceeded. Steven Manchester did a great job keeping my interest in his plot. Why Seattle and what was in the letter? I guess you should read Ashes to find out the answers.