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Above the Thunder [Hardcover]

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Item description for Above the Thunder by Renee Manfredi...

A wary, middle-aged widow numbed by loss and disappointment. A preternaturally intelligent little girl who eavesdrops on the dead. A charming, sybaritic gay man torn between his love for his partner and the anarchy of his desires.These are the charged poles of Ren?e Manfredi's gorgeously written first novel, a book that explores the currents of tenderness, responsibility and chance that turn strangers into a family.

Anna Brinkman meets her ten-year-old granddaughter Flynn when the girl appears on her doorstep, desperate for a love more steadfast than any she has received from her parents. She meets Jack when he shows up in an AIDS support group she is running and does his best to get kicked out. What ensues in a house on the coast of Maine will be the great journey of all their lives. Filled with humor, sadness, and wisdom, Above the Thunder is a magical achievement.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   334
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.25" Width: 6.47" Height: 1.25"
Weight:   1.44 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 5, 2004
Publisher   MacAdam/Cage
ISBN  1931561591  
ISBN13  9781931561594  

Availability  0 units.

More About Renee Manfredi

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ren?e Manfredi is the author of critically acclaimed Above The Thunder (MacAdam/Cage.)

Renee Manfredi currently resides in Berkeley Fairbanks, in the state of California. Renee Manfredi was born in 1962.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Women > Mothers & Children

Reviews - What do customers think about Above the Thunder?

Disappointing for this reader  Jul 21, 2008
I have to say I was disappointed in this book which I thought had a lot of promise. I loved the first chapter, and after that it went downhill quickly. Like the previous reviewer, I didn't get the relationship between the gay couple of Jack and Stuart, and I found the character of Jack completely unsympathetic. Why would anyone want to befriend him much less be in a relationship with him, or read another 300 pages about him. The character of Flynn is tragic, and why any kind of treatment for her is only attempted once when she's being cared for by a healthcare professional is beyond me. To give the author credit, despite the fact I kept complaining about the book to my partner, she did keep me intrigued enough to finish it...if only to see if one more piece of misery was going to be heaped onto the main character's life.
Depth and insight......  Jul 16, 2006
The author depicts a middle aged woman and two gay men so accurately.... Reading Above the Thunder reminded me of reading Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone. Here was a man writing so accurately about a did he do that? Renee depicts so accurately and gracefully a middle aged grieving woman, a grandparent falling in love with her grandchild, friends w/o family creating a family, two gay men struggling in their relationship... She is a master character writer. This was one of those books I couldn't wait to climb into bed to read at night. Like dessert at the end of the day. And I savored the last 100 pages...not wanting it to end.
Love no matter what   Nov 27, 2005
Anna Brinkman is a 50 year old widow, and estranged from her only daughter for the last 12 years. Her story follows a torturous path filled with love for her husband Hugh and anxiety over a child she did not want. Poppy, her daughter calls mysteriously out of the blue from Alaska wanting to visit, with her husband Marvin and their unusual daughter Flynn. Anna reluctantly agrees to let them back in her life. Flynn's eccentricity dominates at times. You never get the whole story about Anna and Poppy. Some scenes are beyond the scope of realism and you have to ask does this make sense? You do see the palatable changes in Anna as she learns to love Flynn. Frustratingly Poppy never appears in the story. When Jack needs help, Anna is there for him and Stuart. The writing is rough around the edges with explanations and information gone astray; but overall it is a satisfying read.
Ludicrous and Offensive  May 16, 2005
I don't often write reviews on this, and when I have it has always been because I've read something that has had such a positive impact on me that I felt I had to share it with others. This time, however, I'm writing this review because it has been a long time since I've read a book that offended me quite as much as this one did, and I'm still seething long after finishing it. As an intelligent, responsible gay man, I thought this novel showed promise -- the forging of a family from unlikely, disparate individuals. But it didn't take me long to realize that Renee Manfredi was just skimming the surface of this story. None of her characters are fully believable or true to life. However, it is her treatment and characterizations of gay men that immediately struck me as shallow and ill-informed -- gay men written by a heterosexual woman who likely has never intimately known a gay man in her life. Because the book reads very quickly, I stuck with it. But there were three points at which I literally had to stop myself from tossing this nonsense into the trash: 1) Two gay men help a young girl through her first exposure with a tampon while the girl's grandmother (who is the girl's primary caretaker) snoozes in the next room. How ridiculous and contrived is that? 2) These same two gay men and a straight woman hop on a plane and, for no coherent reason whatsoever, fly off to San Francisco to visit a sex club. Not only does this scene emerge out of nowhere; not only does it have absolutely no bearing on the rest of the story; this is a shameful, embarrassing and offensive plot point, given that one of the gay men has AIDS and the other two are his care-givers. 3) One gay man races across town on foot with a container to gather sperm from his partner who just happens to be trapped in his car in the midst of a traffic jam while a female friend (and the prospective mother) is ovulating on the floor of a public restroom. Puh-lease! If these three events strike you as interesting enough to be included in a book that pretends to be a serious novel, then this book is for you. On the other hand, if you find events like this disturbing, discouraging, and utterly ridiculous then don't waste your time or money on this patently offensive piece of tripe.
Smooth  May 14, 2004
Every word in this novel is right. Manfredi has constructed a network of associations that will move anyone with a pulse. It took me a while to get into the book, but once I entered into the structure of the novel, I couldn't stop. It is a shame that a work this well crafted can be read in a few days.

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