Road to Elysium
WINNER First Place Bookfest Spring 2023 in three categories:
– First Place for Fiction > Historical – Fictional Biography,
– First Place for Fiction > Literary – Coming of Age, and
– First Place for Fiction > YA – Boys & Men.
n the midst of his seemingly perfect life, Ken’s world shatters with an unexpected tragedy, leaving him broken and adrift in a sea of painful memories. Gripped by sorrow, he resigns himself to a bleak existence, convinced that happiness will forever elude him.
But fate takes an unexpected turn when a group of neighborhood kids decides to rob Ken’s home. This fateful event sets in motion a series of events that will change Ken’s life in unimaginable ways. It introduces him to Mykel, a young man, through a truly unconventional encounter. In that pivotal moment, Ken makes a profound choice that alters the course of his life.
As Ken and Mykel’s friendship blossoms, Ken begins to see something extraordinary in this young man. Slowly, he shifts his focus away from his own self-pity and towards Mykel’s potential. Unbeknownst to him, this momentary decision will have far-reaching consequences, impacting countless lives in ways neither of them could have ever foreseen.
Discover the transformative power of an unexpected friendship in this gripping tale of resilience, redemption, and the profound impact of a single choice. Join Ken and Mykel on their extraordinary journey as they find hope, purpose, and new beginnings in the most unlikely of places.
“Gratifying, touching, and thoroughly absorbing…
Oliver takes readers on an unforgettable emotional journey in her poignant latest novel. Struggling to come to terms with his wife and son’s death, Ken has become a recluse. When some neighborhood kids attempt to rob his house, his single decision sets off a chain of events, leading to Ken meeting a young man Mykel. As the two grow closer, Ken finds himself abandoning his grief, changing not only Mykel’s life in the process but also his own. Oliver deftly weaves themes of grief, trauma, adolescent angst, love, and personal discovery to tell a deeply moving story. The third-person omniscient narrative alternates between Ken’s ongoing story, with snippets of his tragic past sprinkled throughout. The author deftly creates an honest and likable protagonist in Ken. Readers will find themselves rapt with anticipation and filled with compassion for the grieving man’s journey to love and happiness. Through Ken and Mykel’s story, Oliver deftly shows how a person’s single decision can shape communities and people’s lives. Brilliant.” The Prairie Book Review.
Five out of Five stars”Kay A. Oliver delivers a superb tale with plenty of positive and inspiring moments that balance the tragic circumstances of the lives touched upon within the characters of this intimate drama. Ken provides an accurate portrayal of a person crushed by tragedy. Despite the harrowing, raw, emotional narrative, Oliver balances his hard life with increasing moments of joy, pathos, and hope. The tale feels like a release from grief, with every day getting just a little better if we remember to let light, love, and other people back in. I really enjoyed the dialogue, which did a lot to carry the plot forward in a natural style, especially concerning Mykel. I recommend Road to Elysium to fans of realistic fiction; readers who have experienced loss will relate.” – ReadersFavorite.com
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