Young Again

by don trowden & valerie mckee

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"Peppered with musical references, the authors take us on a joyous tour through jazz and blues history, introducing new musicians to explore and addressing occasional cultural and political issues. This multicultural tale would be enjoyed by many, especially those caring for an elderly loved one or who find themselves nearing Mabel's age." 

-- FYI50+ Magazine

“What if you could be young again, if only for a week? That is the provocative question explored in this touching novel by Don Trowden and Valerie McKee. Young Again is also a delightful love story, filled with insights about family, aging, religious faith, and the importance of music for human flourishing.”

—Michael Kinnamon, author of Summer of Love and Evil

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What would you do with just one week of being young again?

This is the fun premise that sets Young Again in motion, combining music, magic, and romance in an uplifting fantasy novel. Mabel Johnson has recently turned ninety years old and lives alone near Clarksdale, Mississippi. She is nostalgic thinking back on her Grammy award-winning career as a blues and jazz performer. In frequent pain, she no longer can play the piano, and compounding matters, her granddaughter was recently  killed in a tragic car accident.

Mabel’s great-granddaughter Priscilla comes to visit for the week and prays that Mabel can be young again. When her prayer is answered, the two ladies set off on a week of romantic and musical adventures entangling a handsome young doctor, a music mogul, a homeless person, and an aspiring singer down on her luck. How they extricate themselves from their many lies provides the comic tension in this uplifting novel.

Set in Clarksdale, Mississippi, home of the Delta blues, this fantasy novel recounts some of the history of famous musicians including Muddy Waters, Nina Simone, and Peggy Lee.

Young Again is filled with song and laughter and will appeal to all those looking for a welcome escape.


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$17.95 trade paperback; ISBN: 978-1-7350273-5-7

$7.99 ebook; ISBN: 978-1-7350273-6-4

Distributors: Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Overdrive


About the Authors

This is Valerie McKee’s debut novel. An employee within the the New York City public school system, Valerie is a graduate of Tufts University and La Sorbonne. She has an MBA in Human Resources Management from the University of Phoenix.

This is Don Trowden’s fifth published book. His novels include Normal Family (2012), No One Ran to the Altar (2016), All the Lies We Live (2018), and the non-fiction book The Isles of Shoals Remembered (1991).

The authors thank you for reading Young Again and hope it provides some fantasy and relief from the losses and hardships experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Visit Don Trowden's website – here.


Valerie McKee
Don Trowden


"There is a lot to like about 90-year-old Mabel, a sympathetically crafted character who is wise, witty, generous, and open-minded. She's seen it all and done it all, the embodiment of hard-won fortitude.

Mabel's week, heaped high with blues and jazz and a side helping of classical music, unfolds in steamy, pre-Covid Mississippi. Rich in sensory appeal, abundant in authentic detail, this story showcases the authors' impressive ability to weave supernatural elements into the real world Mabel shares with the very human, and occasionally eccentric, characters who surround her."

— Anna Blauveldt, author of To Play at God


Young Again is also a delightful love story, filled with insights about family, aging, religious faith, and the importance of music for human flourishing.”

— Michael Kinnamon, author of Summer of Love and Evil


"In Young Again the authors weave a heartwarming tale of inter-generational magic, love, respect, and support. Carefully crafted characters, vivid imagery of the American South, and a close-knit Black community all come together around music."

— Wendy Shaia, author of The Black Cell (2022)


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