MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from Above The Thunder by Renée Manfredi, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Above The Thunder

by Renée Manfredi

Above The Thunder by Renée Manfredi X
Above The Thunder by Renée Manfredi
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2004, 333 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2005, 352 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"What?" Anna instinctively scanned the girl's body for bruises.

"He didn't want children, and he beat me to make them disappear. In the tummy."

"Oh," Anna said, still a little stunned by the notion of being a grandmother, awed by the presence of this lovely child. Anna put her hand up to her head. Her headache was starting to shake free, but the knots in her head had somehow coiled in her chest. Anna hadn't given much thought to the girl really; mostly she tried to imagine what she would say to Poppy after all these years.

Flynn was gorgeous, Anna noted, seeing a little bit of Hugh in the curve of her lips and jaw line, but mostly Flynn looked like the women on Anna's father's side: there was a spectacular resemblance to Anna's second cousin Ella. Ella was the seventh and favorite daughter of the baker in a little village outside Warsaw. Sixteen in 1939, she had picked up her father's new oven peel and was on her way to the shop that September morning when the blitzkrieg started. Ella rushed into burning homes and helped people to safety. Legend had it that she hit a German soldier over the head with the oven peel as he was getting ready to shoot a kneeling line of villagers who then escaped. Ella later died in the camps.

"My mother is mentally ill," Flynn said, clutching the cat tighter as he struggled to get down.

"No," Anna said, angry with Marvin for his apparent careless language.

"She's not." But then before she could stop herself she asked, "Has she left you before?"

"Certainly," Flynn said. "But this time she's not coming back."

"Only God knows such things," Anna said in a voice that was so much her grandmother's it made her head ache all over again.

"We've barely met," Flynn said, though Anna didn't know if it was a reference to herself, Poppy, or, given the peculiarity of this child, to God.

"What's the kitty's name?" Anna said.

"My parents are divorcing. They think I don't know this, but of course I do."

"Does the kitty have a name?"

"His name is Hoover McPaws. He just happens to be Irish."

"Oh, yes? I can see a certain Irish cast to his features."

Flynn looked back at her grandmother, smiled nervously. Something frightened her here. Her grandmother's look pierced through her like the prickly spines of a cactus. "I think you and I were gladiators together under the rule of Caesar Augustus."

"How old are you now, Flynn?"

"Ten. And you?"

"Fifty-three."

"My mother is thirty. Have you met her?"

"Yes. She's my daughter, the way you're her daughter."

"Oh, right." She shifted the cat, which was yowling now, pinned belly up against her knees. "Did she seem mentally ill to you?" Flynn let the cat had go with a gasp, sucked her finger where the cat had scratched her. "Because she was always a good mother until she left. She took very good care of me."

Anna heard her husband's tone in the girl's words, the bewilderment without a trace of anger at Poppy's behavior. "She said she would come," were his last words. "I hope nothing has happened." She couldn't have this girl here. Her very existence was a kind of reproach, the flaws in Poppy that led her to abandon her child were, really, Anna's failing as a parent. She'd buried the guilt long ago, and the last thing she needed was to have all the pain of attachment resurface.

Marvin came back in, straining under the weight of a huge trunk. "I hope you don't mind, Anna," he said. "I, uh, brought a little work with me."

"And just what sort of work do you do? Large-game taxidermy?" Already her house looked like a yard sale. Which she didn't care about, except there was something underhanded going on here, something neither he nor Poppy had respected her enough to tell her.

Excerpted from Above The Thunder by Renée Manfredi. Copyright 2004 by Renée Manfredi . Excerpted by permission of McAdam Cage. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: How to Pronounce Knife
    How to Pronounce Knife
    by Souvankham Thammavongsa
    Many examples of immigrant fiction dedicate a portion of their storytelling to exploring details of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Easy Part of Impossible
    The Easy Part of Impossible
    by Sarah Tomp
    Teenager Ria Williams is a skilled diver. She is on track to compete at the Olympic level, but ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire in Paradise
    Fire in Paradise
    by Alastair Gee , Dani Anguiano
    On November 8, 2018, a fire started in Northern California's Butte County after 50-70 mph winds ...
  • Book Jacket
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Voted 2018 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Towards the end of Madeline Miller...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Daughter of the Reich
    by Louise Fein

    A spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Paris Hours
    by Alex George

    One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Miracle Creek
by Angie Kim

A thrilling debut novel about how far we'll go to protect our families, and our deepest secrets.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Adventurer's Son

The Adventurer's Son

"A brave and marvelous book. A page-turner that will rip your heart out."
--Jon Krakauer

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

B I T T Water

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.