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Above the Thunder

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  129 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
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 Renee Manfredi’s gorgeously written first novel, a book that explores the currents of tenderness, responsibility a ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 10th 2005 by Anchor (first published January 1st 2003)
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Kathy Ahn
May 29, 2008 Kathy Ahn rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
I just re-read this book -- I was looking for a short segment to read at a friend's wedding and it had been a long time since I had originally read it, but I remembered it as a book full of love.

And it is. It's a beautiful first novel. Part of my enjoyment is that I feel such kinship with the protagonist -- a terrible mother who feels neither matronly or nurturing, a scientist at heart, but a loving grandmother and friend. She opens herself up to a love that would remind her of her past love and
Oct 13, 2015 AdiTurbo rated it liked it
Talented writing goes amiss in this very strange book. This novel is filled with contradictions. It seems to be a story about people sticking together through thick and thin, building alternative families to support each other through what life throws at them, liberally accepting alternative lifestyles and choices. But it is also a novel that has unexplained goings on in it, even supernatural ones. Some things that happen are quite hard to believe, while others seem completely understandable and ...more
Mar 14, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it
I don't know how to feel about this book. The writing style was excellent even with the various typos missed in editing. It was different than I expected (plot twist) but I could have done without some of the gay sex information. Author left some issues unresolved with the reader having unanswered questions at the end of the book. I'd much rather read a book with an element of hope threaded throughout. Most of the story was dreary. Not enough information related to the mother/daughter relationsh ...more
Sep 26, 2010 Celeste rated it really liked it
Excellent writing and well-developed characters in a story that brings together several lonely people. The granddaughter was a little too far-fetched, and I wouldn't recommend this book to someone looking for a pick-me-up despite the fact that it has hopeful and life-confirming moments.
Aug 12, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing
A remarkable book.
Feb 07, 2012 Polly rated it really liked it
It's at least six months since I actually finished this book so I'll try to give it a worthy review but it might not be of much use to anyone!

This book was unusual - it kind of unfolded, and unfolded some more... and strangely for a while it seemed like everything might become sorted for the characters, but without spoiling it for anyone, let me tell you not to expect many happy resolutions!

The main character is a mature lady (Anna) whose husband (Hugh) has passed away - she seems reluctant to
May 28, 2008 Michelle rated it liked it
I did enjoy this book. I found it really hard to get into at first because it just didn't really pull you in with anything in particular. But the good news was that it actually did get better and at one point I felt like I just wanted to go meet the characters and go to a party and hang out with them and get to know this weird little entagled group of people. I would recommend this book to someone who truly thinks it looks interesting, but I'm not going to lie and tell you that it's a great read ...more
Sep 09, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-faves
I read this book quite a few years ago and enjoyed it a lot. I found it in our library book sale (it is probably the one I read years ago)and so now I own a copy. It is an amazing novel - especially as it was the author's first!

The book covers a lot of interesting topics e.g. women without maternal instinct, the spirit world, reincarnation, gay love & marriage, AIDS, grief, what makes a family, drug addiction? Amazing that it is all packed into a book of less than 400 pages! The characters a
Jul 18, 2015 Wendopolis rated it it was ok
Didn't really care about any of the characters
Jul 01, 2007 Kara rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread, fiction
This book is very depressing and very, very good. I admit that I didn't read this book when I was necessarily in the best situations, so I had a little bit of trouble concentrating on the writing style, not to say that there was anything wrong with it. The characters are so fascinating that you can't help not to care about them and want to know what comes next. A wonderful woven little story about family and self-discovery.
Yvonne Leutwyler
Dec 15, 2013 Yvonne Leutwyler rated it liked it
The stories of the people in this book has more potential than what the author created. I guess I didn't really enjoy her style, her prose. She is often overly descriptive of situations that make the chapters read almost like college papers than a novel. I also found some of the happenings in the book less than credible (I know it's fiction, but... the author just couldn't sell me on some situations).
Jan 29, 2008 Cristina rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
In Above the Thunder, Manfredi takes a look at what it means to be a family, but creating a wonderful cast of characters who meet through circumstance. They discover that blood is not the only connection that create a familial bond. This is a wonderful look at relationships as well as the world of AIDS.
Will Bellais
Sep 11, 2007 Will Bellais rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who enjoy a good read
Shelves: fiction
At first I thought is was a "woman's book." Andthat it is, but the craft and story draw you in with its gay story and how he loves his partner and the dissaray this love brings to him and to others. This is a book about the "family" all gay and lesbians seem to talk about.
Lisa Glase
Jul 29, 2013 Lisa Glase rated it liked it
Average story - but I wanted to keep reading to find out how it ended. Unfortunately, the end was sad, so I was disappointed. However, the author was able to demonstrate how the meaning of "family" can be so unique for each person. In that way, it was touching.
Jun 08, 2009 Leesteffy rated it really liked it
More traditional writing style than i usually like, but subject matter was very interesting. Likable but extremely flawed characters.(Hard to do. . .sign of a very talented writer.) Ending made me want to cry.
Kristen Elliott
Jun 14, 2013 Kristen Elliott rated it really liked it
I didn't get into this book at first, but after giving it some time I really enjoyed it. It is not a happy story, but the story is engaging.
Apr 10, 2008 Jenn rated it really liked it
This book started off slow, but really kept me intrigued from the middle until the end. I couldn't put it down!
Oct 31, 2013 Katherine rated it really liked it
Really interesting characters. Got better and better as it went.
Oct 09, 2011 Taylor rated it really liked it
It was depressing at best, and for that reason I loved it!
Ruby Hall
May 13, 2009 Ruby Hall rated it liked it
Enjoyed--giving of self
Oct 11, 2012 Connie rated it liked it
Excellent book!
Teresa Lange
Teresa Lange marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2016
Holly Taylor
Holly Taylor marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2016
Sandra rated it liked it
Apr 14, 2016
Thereadingowl marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2016
Cindy marked it as to-read
Mar 27, 2016
Adam Dunnells
Adam Dunnells marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2016
Morgan rated it it was ok
Mar 03, 2016
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“Every human being, he believed, must do one of three basic things during his lifetime: leave something living, create something lovely, or make something better.” 14 likes
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