Buck Niehoff


“The trusting friendship created in these beautiful letters is the cure for the cascade of crises

That was 2020. You will believe again — that the future will be righteous and bright.”

Author of:
“Something Funny at the Library”
“Jammu Mail”
“Breathing in Africa”
“Walking the Thames”

Jerry Springer

Talk show host, Judge Jerry

"Man, What a, in a sense, be listening in on 2 people, of different life stories...sharing their thoughts in real time, of America under assault...the trifecta...the pandemic, a collapsing economy and a virulent movement of white supremacy.

Read this now, and imagine what your great-grandchildren will be thinking if they’re lucky enough to read this. Will it be...”Gee, I wonder what that must have been like...” or will it be..

“Man, nothing’s changed.” Hopefully, it won’t be the latter.”

Ken H. Fortenberry

Author, Flight 7 is Missing and Kill the Messenger.

“You’ll laugh in one chapter, and you’ll cry the next. You’ll feel the pain of heartbreak and the fury of well-deserved anger as Byron and Jennifer relive 2020 - a year most of us would rather forget - in this poignant and deeply personal journey. The authors open their hearts and manage to weave an unforgettable story of life and death, love and hate, controversy and Covid. The one-word that threads this book together is “hope,” and they do a masterful job of showing us that no matter what curves may be thrown our way, if we cling to hope, we can endure just about anything.”

Tom Callinan

Retired in 2010 after a 35 year career as an editor, including The Arizona Republic, Cincinnati Enquirer, Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, Fort Myers (FL) News-Press, Lansing (MI) State Journal and Sioux Falls (SD) Argus Leader. In 2011, he was named McMicken Professor of Journalism at The University of Cincinnati.

“I have known Jennifer and Byron for almost 20 years. Byron was my first hire on the editorial page when I arrived as Editor of The Cincinnati Enquirer and in my first weeks I met Jennifer, who was an influential public relations expert in the community.

Over the years they both became good friends and I thought I knew them well, but reading their touching and thoughtful letters introduced me to new dimension of their character and caring.

“Hope, Interrupted” a powerful story of hope, optimism and perseverance, told well by two superb writers.

Thank you Byron and Jennifer for this gift to the world, and for your continued friendship.”

Paul Daugherty

Cincinnati Enquirer Award-winning columnist Author

Jennifer Mooney and Byron McCauley aren’t simply speaking to us through their daily correspondence. They are us. If the historically fraught year of 2020 taught us anything, it was our country’s desperate need for extended, meaningful, honest conversation.

In hashing out their contemporary concerns, Mooney and McCauley do more than grope for reasons and answers for COVID-19, race relations and our deep political divide. They offer a cathartic empathy and logic so often lacking in the daily rhetoric.

Hope Interrupted is a welcome gift of humanity during this transformational time in our country’s life. I felt better for reading it.

Daniel Anderson

Creative Writing Professor University of Oregon Professor, American Poet, Drunk In Sunlight

"If Hope Interrupted crystalizes the anxiety, disbelief, rage, and grief so many of us experienced in 2020, it also reminds us how foundational—how utterly vital—our friendships are in such times. These pages are filled with a wise interrogation of history (both personal and political) but above all else they are filled with trust, and the knowledge that openness and honesty and a ceaseless, unflinching look into the past has always been the only human way forward."

Craig Dirgo

author of The Einstein Papers and other novels. 

"Hope Interrupted is a tale told through a series of letters between two people from disparate backgrounds. At a time when people are being forced to isolate, these two scribes seek a deeper bond. The politics of racism are examined against the backdrop of a pandemic, while the two principles share experiences while always looking toward hope and understanding. This sharing of thoughts while engaging in communication, real communication, helps both make sense of a senseless time. Jennifer and Byron are different from one another in race, religion and upbringing, but these differences, instead of driving a wedge between them, acts as an opening to stronger understanding. Walk a mile in their shoes. I did and found the walk worth taking."

Mark Curnutte

Visiting instructor of social justice, Miami University Author, "Across the Color Line" and "A Promise in Haiti"

"As May turned to June 2020, most of us knew we were truly living in a year unlike any we'd seen or would see. It was perhaps, for us, our 1968. A three-headed crisis grew that combined pandemic, economic collapse and racial tensions. Many of us thought of journaling, wanting to write down and record our observations and experiences. Jennifer Mooney and Byron McCauley actually did. And when they decided to play their journal entries off each other in the form of almost daily email correspondence, their collective perspectives gained richness and depth. Here, a Southern Black Christian and a White Northern Jew, shared secrets, fears, hopes and chatted electronically like two neighbors sitting on a porch. What emerges is a map forward, a path that our divided nation and its people might follow, one of civility and thoughtful conversation, recognizing their shared love of country despite its flaws and their own differences of opinion. McCauley has the newspaper columnist's chops, but Mooney proves his is equal in this format. You could say that's the idea.

There's a lot happening here at once. A retelling of a pivotal six months in our national life. Two smart people sharing their observations on race, public health, the economy, their families, and the common good. The reader also becomes privy to watching a friendship bloom into fuller blossom. On their own, McCauley and Mooney's journals are worth a read. Together, they become some even better."

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