Each Thursday in honor of #TBT, I feature a book that I truly love, that helped shape me as a writer, as a woman, as a human.
This week’s book is another story collection. This one by Renée Manfredi called, “Where Love Leaves Us.”
One story in particular haunted me for years. I remember certain details to this day and I remember dissecting each scene, trying to figure out how she had created this story that just mesmerized me. In “Bocci” ten-year-old Elena is herself mesmerized by her Catholic religion. The story starts with her declaring to her mother, “Jesus Christ is a blood clot in my leg.” Her mother is less then enthralled by her daughter’s obsession. Her father makes up for that by his sheer devotion to his daughter. But that devotion and her devotion to her religion cannot save her from the violent ugliness in the world.
A sentence I underlined: She is ten, an ordinary little girl whose imagination sometimes intersects inconveniently with truth; all of her imaginary friends die tragic deaths and she grieves them as though they were real.