What Readers Say about Jim
















There are great storytellers and literary storytellers across this land. Jim Ainsworth is both. In Rails to a River, as in his other novels, Jim is a sculptor who carves the right words from our language and strings them together with the beauty of a poet and the sudden impact of a pistol shot.

Just read a brief passage, and you will understand immediately what I am talking about: “But not even Father Bob can explain why Tee was spared, why it seems as if he has been plucked by some malevolent force from a life he understood and loved and set down into a suit and tie existence in, a world college professors called a corporate culture. The old priest could not explain why two events, sixty-seven days apart, five hundred miles apart, shattered Tee’s hopes, rudely maneuvered his life down a road he did not with to travel toward a place he does not want to be.”

Jim Ainsworth understands the storms that threaten to destroy men like Tee Jessup, that leave Tee adrift in a world that views him as a man who doesn’t belong. A single moment of time has changed his life forever. He probably should not have survived the accident at a remote railroad crossing. He probably should not have awakened from the coma. It might have been better if he hadn’t. All that he loved has been stolen from him

He had always been at home in the wide-open spaces of a West Texas ranch. His home is gone. He drives away from the ranch. He heads to the city. He heads to the great unknown. He is a man most miserable, a stranger in a strange place. He works. He fails. His wife leaves him. She takes his son. He assumes it’s because he has become a failure. Her reasons are far more sinister. But what are they?

Tee faces a journey he does not want to take and searches for those stolen moments of his life that he may never find. It is a journey that the reader takes right along step-by-step with Tee Jessup as he travels a long, winding, and unfamiliar road. When Tee is lost, we are lost. When Tee hurts, we feel his pain. Tee Jessup is no longer a stranger. He’s a friend. He’s family. Jim Ainsworth has the rare ability to make sure of it. Jim writes about the West, but Rails to a River is not a Western. Tee is entangled with the mysteries that surround his life, but Rails to a River is not a mystery. Tee searches for the love he has lost — the love of the woman and his love for the land — but Rails to the River is not a romance. It’s life.

If you want to read a literary work of fiction with a great story that has a lot of heart, read Jim Ainsworth. It’s life as only one man has lived it, life as only Jim Ainsworth can write it.
from author
Caleb Pirtle III -


















I just finished reading A River of Stories, and I’m amazed at the development of Jim Ainsworth’s storytelling ability. The book is a collection of stories about life, family, friends and a quest to understand everything, and they reveal the depth of character of a truly wonderful writer and amazing man. The stories are not only entertaining, but many deliver underlying life messages and lessons that I wish could be plugged in and downloaded to my grandsons. I soon will be reading the last of this series, Rails to a River, and I looked forward to the bar being raised even higher.
Jake G. -




Rails to a River is my first Jim Ainsworth novel, and it has been a true pleasure. I can’t compare it to any of his others, but I enjoyed the contemporary setting for an age-old sorrow where necessity drags a man away from his dreams. While some might call Tee Jessup shiftless because of his constant moving from one empty job to another, he is actually a man honoring what is true within him but at a cost. The story keeps you riveted because of the unexpected twists of characters and plot, but this masterful writer keeps all the ends tied so the reader doesn’t trip over any of them. I haven’t read many books of late where I couldn’t wait to get back to my Kindle, but this was one. Ainsworth’s passion for his Texas home, its cowboy history and the very land under his feet keeps his descriptions fresh and his story real.
from author
Christina Carson -






Jim Ainsworth’s characters in Firstborn Son are so earthy ... so human ... so true-to-life, one fancies having encountered them in day-to-day life ... walked the streets they walked ... breathed the air they breathed. Their story is so artfully told, one wonders where the boundary lies between what is truth and what is fiction.
from Bobbie Purdy -




Jim Ainsworth has created some of the most endearing and interesting characters I have ever encountered in fiction.
from author Suzanne Morris —





Jexas novelist Jim Ainsworth provides stirring descriptions of hardscrabble life
with characters that are complex, colorful and unforgettable.
from entertainment writer Alice Reese, Greenville Herald Banner—





I was slow in reading this book due to being short stories, but once I became engaged with the stories, recognizing the true characters from his books, I could not put it down. I have been amazed at the many people Jim has met, drawing them into life long friendships. I must admit tears filled my eyes while reading the eulogies. I believe I got a glimpse of Jim’s character in all his books, but in A Rivers of Stories Jim revealed his heart. I loved this book so much, I plan on giving this book to others. I am looking forward to more books by this author.
from Barbara Brown





Rails to a River is the fifth book that I’ve read by Jim Ainsworth. It was an amazing read! I literally had to put the book down after the first two chapters and just digest what I had read. I think and I read in a very visual way. Jim’s development of characters, descriptions of the scenes, and stitching together of the plot let the book flow through my mind so smoothly it was like watching a movie on the big screen. I truly look forward to getting “a’holt” of another one of Jim’s books.
from Ken Ryan—





I have said it before and will say it again. I believe Jim is one of our great American storytellers.
from Rosalie Oliver—





Ainsworth is the real McCoy. A genuine, talented storyteller. His stories are full of richness and flowing charm.
from Dr. David Morris





Ainsworth makes you think ... he makes you hurt right along with the characters ... and that makes the charac-ters more real, more interesting, and leaves one with an ache inside for them.
 from Mary Miller—





Ainsworth weaves a story that transports readers to a different time and place . . . crisp prose and dialogue flow like a spring from a limestone bluff.
The Plainview Daily Herald





Yesterday I read John Grisham’s Joe Calico, about baseball and family complexities. When Jim Ainsworth writes about baseball, he exceeds Grisham. I think all of Jim’s work is worthy, but the recounting of that little league game, the suspense he creates, the attention to detail, and the cathartic payoff at the climax blow Grisham out of the water.  Moreover, Jim’s point of view (the merging of the adult and the child) is much more controlled, perceptive, and effective.  Just an observation from a well-read reader.  I loved Grisham’s Firm and that Dickensian working out of the plot and the meting out of appropriate justice, but since then. . . I’d rather read Ainsworth.
from Charles Bailey




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