A life defined by faith. A death defined by racism, mental illness, poverty and tragedy – that gives hope to us all.
Beyond Them All is written for the commercial fiction market. It includes both strong BIPOC characters along with elements of faith and inspiration. It is neither political nor preachy. The main character feels familiar, relatable and lovable – he serves as a welcoming gateway for readers to explore people whose lives may be very different from their own. The book leverages historical fiction with light magical realism to create a series of connected stories that will transfix readers until the very last word of the book.
George outlived everyone he knew, but it took dying to find out why.
Well into his nineties, George lived a humble life in a quiet Rust Belt town and kept himself busy — until he died. Except that he couldn’t quite die. Before he could pass, he had to examine the stories of the beautifully unique people who had been a part of his life: a Czech immigrant, a Pima Indian woman, a mixed race child growing up in the sixties, a black man born in a West Virginia junkyard, a runaway battling mental illness, a little girl horrifically injured in a car accident, and others.
By any measure — age, fairness, probability — they should be here, and he should have long since died.
The intricately constructed stories slowly reveal hidden connections along with the incredible gifts that each person had been given.
In the end, George actually finds himself with two questions: Why did he live beyond them all? And, why were they given such incredible gifts when he was not?
He then realizes the answer to both questions is the same answer…
Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick, Revell, 2020. Readers who love rich historic detail, conflicts arising from social issues, and intriguing female characters will be drawn to this novel.
Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel by James Merkert, Thomas Nelson, 2019. That dash of magical realism? The realities of aging? Those complex family dynamics? Yes! Readers will find those same elements in this book.
Stars of Alabama by Sean Dietrich, Thomas Nelson, 2019. Much the same way Dietrich paints a lush portrait of the American south, Weiss’ novel captures the unique grit, dirt, and dust of the lower Rust Belt highlighting both its families and culture.
The Book of Lost Friends: A Novel by Lisa Wingate, Ballantine Books, 2020. Beyond Them All uses the same interplay of historical and contemporary settings along with the juxtaposition of interesting stories.
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom, Harper Collins, 2015. Readers who love speculative elements entwined with historical context will be mesmerized by this book.
When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin, Thomas Nelson 2006. The inspirational elements of the book will appeal perfectly to Charles Martin readers, and it offers a similar uplifting, surprise ending.
Bonus Content – Coming Soon
For Book Clubs
– Discussion Guide
– Famous figures making anonymous appearances in the story
– The Ghosts of Hawk’s Nest
– Sour Notes in Beatty
– Clouds Over Akron
– Death in the Great Black Swamp
What Critique Partners Are Saying about Beyond Them All
“It is said that reading fiction increases empathy by showing us how other people might think. Kenneth J. Weiss, in his powerful novel, Beyond Them All, seeks to turn that empathy up to eleven by embracing the plurality of the world. Through a magical, central figure, we are able to experience a variety of characters who wonderfully reflect multitudes. And no matter how different the various stories may be, Weiss fills his book with this central concept: there is always hope where there is life.”
Andrew Farkas, author of The Great Indoorsman, The Big Red Herring, Sunsphere, and Self-Titled Debut
Beyond Them All is just the right read for thinking people who seek affirmation without sugar coating the truth of life’s bitter challenges. Backstories take readers to different parts of the globe and delve into political, cultural and racial history that reveal universal truths: We are all driven by a purpose.”
Mark Morelli, Author of Rearview and Effwords: Faith, Family, Fatherhood & That Other One