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Too Blue to Fly

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Description

A complex and gripping novel about a boy growing up under daunting conditions in post-World War II America, Too Blue to Fly touches on the culture of the South, the dangers of the Florida swamps, the cracks in our social-support systems, and the need for human connection.
Eleven-year-old Wally McManus is thrust into a world he never knew existed when his mother dies. He is sent to live with a distant, damaged father in a remote corner of Florida that is a miasma of racial segregation and economic deprivation. He meets a half-brother who is black—and discovers that his writer father has been living with a beautiful black singer since before he was born.
Wally’s upright nature endears us to him from the first as he discovers the hard truths of life in a backwater community in the 1940s. The adults are too preoccupied with their own burdens to give him the attention any normal child would need, causing him to carve out a life of his own, peopled with ghosts, a sexually precocious girl, his almost-sociopathic half-brother, social workers, and rednecks of the most dangerous variety.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 28, 1997 – Set in the American South just after WWII, this Alabama author's fifth novel (Sounds of Silence and Summer Lightning) starts off with an emotionally affecting situation and a strong sense of place. Unfortunately, the texture and vitality are quickly lost as the author freights the narrative with stock characters and sentimental, predictable plot turns. When his mother dies of cancer, 11-year-old Wally McManus is ripped from his comfortable Atlanta life and sent to live with his father, Anthony, whom he's never met, in a swamp shack on Lake Okeechobee in Belle Glade, Florida. Instead of Anthony, a booze-guzzling writer, a black boy close to his own age comes to meet Wally at the bus stop. "I'm your brother, Jeremiah," he announces. Wally's first glimpse of his father is in an illegal bar in "colored town," where he is being dragged out the door and dumped into the rumble seat of a beige 1939 Ford coupe. Jeremiah jumps into the driver's seat and briefly takes over the story with his charm. Too soon, however, Jeremiah is robbed of his originality and Wally loses his chance to express real emotions. After enduring years of progressively less convincing encounters with stereotypically nasty white trash, Jeremiah grows up. In a move calculated to tug readers' heartstrings rather than deepen the character or the story, he moves to Paris and falls in love. Ultimately, Richards contrives a happy reunion between Jeremiah and Wally in Washington, D.C., a scene so transparently manipulative it makes the whole tale feel like a trick.
Too Blue to Fly
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Action & Adventure
  • Published: Feb 23, 2015
  • Publisher: River's Edge Media, LLC
  • Seller: Rivers Edge Media, LLC
  • Print Length: 262 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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