River Angel: A Novel by Ansay, A. ManetteRiver Angel: A Novel by Ansay, A. Manette

River Angel: A Novel

byAnsay, A. Manette

Paperback | March 9, 1999

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In April 1991, in a little Wisconsin town about a hundred miles southwest of the town where I grew up, a misfit boy was kidnapped by a group of high school kids who, later, would testify they'd merely meant to frighten him, to drive him around for a while. Somehow they ended up at the rive, whooping and hollering on a two-lane bridge. Somehow the boy was shoved, he jumped, he slipped—acounts vary—into the icy water. The kids told police they never heard a splash; one reported seeing a brilliant flash of light. (Several people in the area witnessed a similar light, while others recalled hearing something "kind of like thunder.") All night, volunteers walked the river's edge, but it was dawn before the body was found in a barn a good mile from the bridge . . .

The owner of the barn had been the one to discover the body, and she said the boy's cheeks were rosy, his skin warm to the touch. A sweet smell hung in the air. "It was," she said "as if he were just sleeping." And then she told police she believed an angel had carried him there.

For years, it had been said that an angel lived in the river. Residents flipped coins into the water for luck, and a few claimed they had seen the angel, or known someone who'd seen it. The historical society downtown had a farmwife's journal, dated 1898, in which a woman described how an angel had rescued her family from a flood. Now, as the story of the boy's death spread, more people came forward with accounts of strange things that had happened on that night. Dogs had barked without ceasing till dawn; livestock broke free of padlocked barns. Someone's child crayoned a bridge and, above it, a wide-winged tapioca angel.

A miracle? A hoax? Or something in between? With acute insight and great compassion, A. Manette Ansay captures the inner life of a town and its residents struggling to forge a new identity in the face of a rapidly changing world.

In April 1991, in a little Wisconsin town about a hundred miles southwest of the town where I grew up, a misfit boy was kidnapped by a group of high school kids who, later, would testify they'd merely meant to frighten him, to drive him around for a while. Somehow they ended up at the rive, whooping and hollering on a two-lane bridge. ...
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Title:River Angel: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.75 inPublished:March 9, 1999Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0380729741

ISBN - 13:9780380729746

Reviews

From Our Editors

One night, 10-year-old Gabriel Carpenter disappears into the river that crosses the farmland of Ambient, Wisconsin. His escapade was only to discover whether an angel really lived down on the banks, as townsfolk believed. But when Gabriel’s lifeless body is found, carefully placed in a barn a mile from the river, the town is thrown into uproar. Some don’t believe the miracle; others want to make money from it. But whether the response is joyous faith or skeptical greed, Ambient is truly altered forever.

Editorial Reviews

“Ansay gracefully weaves together the lives of her characters.”