Tuesday, August 01, 2006

This is my seventh blog for 2006


There is a new paperback novel at the Bowman Library titled "Above the Thunder" by Renee Mnafredi. The book has a note attached to it saying that if you enjoyed "The Ha Ha" you will like this novel.

There is a plot line which is somewhat like that of "The Ha Ha." A young child, in this case a granddaughter, comes into the lives of adults and changes them. Although this is somewhat like the story in "The Ha Ha" the characters in "Above the Thunder" are sharply drawn and different in many ways. Anna is the grandmother, and she is estranged from her daughter.

The people in this novel are city people; much of the action takes place in Boston and some in small town Maine.
Anna is widowed and is living a life of unrecognized boredom. She is ready for some type of change but caught in her every day life of work and simple socializing with her friend Greta. When her much disliked son-law Marvin shows up at Anna's home with her granddaughter Flynn and minus Anna's daughter, Poppy, the life she had known changes completely.

When Anna meets two gay men at a support group she has reluctantly agreed to monitor, more complications of her daily experiences begin. Flynn is not an ordinary lovable granddaughter and Marvin, her father, is certainly not an average father. Add to this the love quarrels and illnesses of Jack and Stuart and there are many turns to follow for the reader.

There are some rather graphic scenes of homosexual encounters and the book is not for someone who is easily turned off by this. Also, Flynn is so bright and so different that she is difficult to identify with for the ordinary person who picks up a novel for entertainment. Ms. Manfredi feels she has a story worth telling and she does not shy away from the grimy details of life.

This reviewer was very pleased with "The Ha Ha." "Above the Thunder" was not a books I would pick up to read again. Check out the two and compare. You might want to make a choice and your reasons would be very valid and very interesting.

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