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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Literary
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Even Mick Jagger Gets Tired of Singing “Satisfaction”
  • Series Number:2
  • Pages:606
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781543980813
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543980806

Only the Trying

Book 2

by Alex Cook View author's profile page

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Lola and Keno Barton seem to have the idyllic Marin County existence. Lola, a stay-at-home mom, has two healthy teenagers and an active social life. Keno is a San Francisco-based real estate executive with a thriving business and all the upward mobility that implies. But when Keno goes missing on a surf trip in remote Baja, everything starts to unravel. With the cloud of the 2008 Great Financial Crisis complicating the situation, the extended Barton family tries to pull it together long enough to solve the mystery of Keno's disappearance. Leading the charge is Clay, the oldest brother, who materializes out of decades of obscurity to offer assistance. Find out if the Bartons can overcome the challenges of infidelity, PTSD, addiction, and financial instability in this modern day whodunnit.

ONLY THE TRYING is the second book in a two-part series. The first is DONUTS ARE MEANT TO BE EATEN.


The Barton clan has a way of sticking with you long after you turn the last page. There really isn’t a dull moment in either DONUTS ARE MEANT TO BE EATEN or ONLY THE TRYING. Beginning in 1979, and very much describing the characters’ experience of time and place, personality driven drama marches on through time to inevitable conclusions. Told with mature insight and compassion for the characters’ feckless behavior, but also very much giving the reader a sensory experience of the moment— either what it feels like to be an adolescent male in the late ‘70s South or a disillusioned wife and mother in a post tech revolution world. Favorite characters include Aloysius for his ungodly antics and Lily for her compulsions. Sex, violence, and eventually love punctuate the plot and keep things moving along.

ONLY THE TRYING is the second book in a two-part series. The first is DONUTS ARE MEANT TO BE EATEN.

In this follow-up to DONUTS ARE MEANT TO BE EATEN, the author (Alex Cook) explores further the themes of ambition, romantic relationships, aging, intimacy, and loss as his characters confront the issues that threaten to tear them apart. Readers will recognize the author's flamboyant and irreverent style which includes regular references to modern culture, history, and literature, often with a tongue-in-cheek bent.

The author has committed to donating all of the profits to charities.

About the author

Alex Cook is a husband, father, abuelito and recreation enthusiast. He and his wife split their time between the Gorge, Baja, and Indonesia.

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