Of Metal and Earth
An Amazon Best Seller. Finalist in the 2018 IAN Book of the Year awards in the category of Literary / General fiction. Winner of the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the category of First Novel.
Of Metal and Earth is an emotional journey of car ownership, a must read book for modern and classic automotive enthusiasts and the perfect gift for anyone who loves books about cars.
It tells the story of seven owners of a little green Jeep, connected by their failures, neglect, and restorations. Through their eyes, forty years of car ownership results in reconciliation through a story that’s easy to fall into and hard to let go of.
The book begins in 1964, when James survives the Vietnam War by hiding beneath a little green Jeep, watching his friends die on the battlefield. He returns home emotionally paralyzed with nothing to fight for and turns to the only salvation he knows, buying a little green Jeep of his own. When he gets a flat tire on the road out of town, he is forced to ask the elderly owner of a farm for help. There, he finds more than just the tools to fix his car. He finds a job and, among the rolling hills, he finds comforting isolation, contentment, and Claire. Getting to know her jeopardizes the seclusion he relies on, a risk that pays off when they start a family and James finds a part of himself that he thought he’d lost forever.
But soon, the life they built is threatened. James could lose Claire and everything he loves forever. He must seek salvation once more - in the form of his little green Jeep.
Over the next thirty years, the Jeep changes hands, passing between friends, family, strangers, and lovers. A single mother buys a car for her reckless son and destroys a friendship with a man who silently loved her for two decades. An insecure youth at the start of his career learns that the most important lessons are the ones you never set out to learn. A family torn apart by their differences finds that love can be the hardest road to take. And a city architect who must choose between the easy way out, abandoning his grandfather’s dying wish to save the car, or a difficult path to restoration that could save more than just a little green Jeep.
Indie Book Awards Review
FIRST NOVEL (70,000-90,000 words) WINNER:
Of Metal and Earth, by Jennifer M. Lane
A little green jeep means so much in so many ways. It is symbolic of war, adventure, reliability, break down and visual wear and tear. Author Lane uses restoration and maintenance to set its chronological journey through seven title holders. As with the jeep, its owners are flawed and at risk of total failure at any time. Lane draws the reader deeply into human frailty, imperfect relationships, and everyday obstacles as the title passes from one person to another. How the jeep is treated is tied closely to its owners' flawed relationships, status in society, and decision-making ability. She flawlessly blends love, loss, emotional healing, self-sacrifice, and generosity in this well-paced imaginative look at human nature. It will leave readers wondering what their vehicles would say about them and be grateful vehicles cannot talk.
~Jill E. Bemis, Next Generation Indie Book Awards Judge
Sometimes music inspires writing, and sometimes it just reminds us of places and people from the stories we've read. Check out this Spotify playlist inspired by the worlds in Of Metal and Earth.
What Others Say
On a Reading Bender
"Superb writing... I really liked the originality that Lane brought to her words... The writing really jumped off the pages... History, multiple characters who each have their own unique place in the story, different timelines and experiences all meld together beautifully...
This story for me just came across as honest... I think she executed flawlessly!"
"Of Metal and Earth invoked emotions ranging from laughter, to tears, to frustration, to happiness. The stories of these characters and their Jeep will stay with me long after this and this is a novel that numerous people will be receiving from me as gifts this year. I can’t think of a specific audience that would enjoy this novel, it is simply a must-read for everyone."
The Indie Express
"Jennifer M. Lane has managed to bring us a book that really encompasses different time spans, different ways of life, different types of people, and so much more. I was amazed at how well she was able to keep these separate yet connect them and have them each feel authentic.
An emotional, inspiring, and very real feeling book."
"Of Metal and Earth invoked emotions ranging from laughter, to tears, to frustration, to happiness. The stories of these characters and their Jeep will stay with me long after this and this is a novel that numerous people will be receiving from me as gifts this year. I can’t think of a specific audience that would enjoy this novel, it is simply a must-read for everyone." ~Dandelions Inspired