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Up High in the Trees

by

Up High in the Trees Cover

ISBN13: 9780802118479
ISBN10: 080211847x
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When Sebby Lane asks his mother where he came from, she points to the trees high above their heads...

In this startling and brave debut novel, Kiara Brinkman introduces an extraordinary young boy, a boy Cristina Garcia has called "a Little Prince for our times." Nine-year-old Sebby Lane has lost his best friend, his mother, and misses her so acutely that he begins to dream and even relive moments of her life. After an incident at school, Sebby's father leaves Sebby's older brother and sister behind and takes Sebby to live in the family's summerhouse, hoping it will give both of them time and space to recover. But Sebby's father deteriorates in this new isolation, leaving Sebby to reach out to a favorite teacher back home, writing his private thoughts in letters to her. He also becomes acquainted with nearby children who force him out of the void of the past and help him to exist in the present. Sebby's continued struggle to understand his mother — both her life and her death — lead him to wonder if he, too, is meant to die. When his attempts to reenact her life ultimately fail him, Sebby comes to a new understanding of himself, and only then can he begin to move forward.

In spare and exquisite prose buoyed by the life force of its small, fearless narrator, Up High in the Trees introduces an astonishingly fresh and powerful literary voice.

Review:

"The Asperger's afflicted narrator of Brinkman's sincere, sober debut struggles to cope with his pregnant mother's recent death after she was hit by a car. Already keenly sensitive to emotional and sensory stimuli, Sebby Lane finds his mother's loss almost unbearable; he acts out at school, biting a girl on the shoulder. Sebby's father, Stephen, is nearly unable to function, and, in an attempt to help both Sebby and himself, takes Sebby to the family summer home, hoping that a change of scenery will ease their mourning. Once there, however, Stephen slips ever deeper into his misery. Sebby, however, reaches out, writing letters to his teacher and befriending two unpleasant neighbor children. Though the narrative direction is muzzy and the conclusion is saccharine with forced uplift, the cast is portrayed with keen sympathy and sensitivity — no easy task with a young, on-the-spectrum narrator. Told in brief poetic vignettes, the novel moves quickly and episodically, like a series of snapshots from the camera of Sebby's unique mind. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"'The Asperger's afflicted narrator of Brinkman's sincere, sober debut struggles to cope with his pregnant mother's recent death after she was hit by a car. Already keenly sensitive to emotional and sensory stimuli, Sebby Lane finds his mother's loss almost unbearable; he acts out at school, biting a girl on the shoulder. Sebby's father, Stephen, is nearly unable to function, and, in an attempt to help both Sebby and himself, takes Sebby to the family summer home, hoping that a change of scenery will ease their mourning. Once there, however, Stephen slips ever deeper into his misery. Sebby, however, reaches out, writing letters to his teacher and befriending two unpleasant neighbor children. Though the narrative direction is muzzy and the conclusion is saccharine with forced uplift, the cast is portrayed with keen sympathy and sensitivity — no easy task with a young, on-the-spectrum narrator. Told in brief poetic vignettes, the novel moves quickly and episodically, like a series of snapshots from the camera of Sebby's unique mind. (July)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"No one could blame you for turning away from Kiara Brinkman's haunting first novel. The muffled pain of 'Up High in the Trees' will trigger your reflex for emotional protection but, if you can bear it, the treasures here are exquisite. I can't remember when I ever felt so torn between recoiling from a story and wishing I could somehow cross into its pages and comfort a character.

Brinkman's... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Up High in the Trees is a visceral, heart-wrenching, gorgeous book. What moves me most about Brinkman's first novel is the voice: It's pitch-perfect and mesmerizing. With Up High in the Trees Brinkman has created a fully realized, wholly original, and powerfully felt world." Alison Smith

Review:

"This is a very moving and perfectly convincing portrait of the inner life of an unusual boy, Sebby, cast into the deep black waters of a mother's death. As his family thrashes and drowns and treads water around him, he has to choose if and how to survive. Brinkman's portrait of Sebby and his family is humane and uncompromising, never maudlin, and, in the end, we root for Sebby as if he were our own." Dave Eggers

Synopsis:

An exquisite debut novel about a family in turmoil told in the startling, deeply affecting voice of a nine-year-old, autistic boy. Following the sudden death of Sebby's mother, his father takes Sebby to live in the family's summerhouse, hoping it will give them both time and space to recover. But Sebby's father deteriorates in this new isolation, leaving Sebby struggling to understand his mother's death alone, dreaming and even re-living moments of her life. He ultimately reaches out to a favorite teacher back home and to two nearby children who force him out of the void of the past and help him to exist in the present. In spare and gorgeous prose buoyed by the life force of its small, fearless narrator, Up High in the Trees introduces an astonishingly fresh and powerful literary voice.

About the Author

Kiara Brinkman graduated from Brown University and recently earned her M.F.A. in writing from Goddard College in Vermont.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

beejolene, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by beejolene)
This was such a powerful story about loss and grief through the eyes of a child. It was a beautiful reminder that parents do the best they can when raising their children, and that sometimes they fail.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780802118479
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Brinkman, Kiara
Author:
Brinkman
Publisher:
Grove Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Mothers and sons
Subject:
Grief
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20070710
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 17.5 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Up High in the Trees Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Grove Press - English 9780802118479 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The Asperger's afflicted narrator of Brinkman's sincere, sober debut struggles to cope with his pregnant mother's recent death after she was hit by a car. Already keenly sensitive to emotional and sensory stimuli, Sebby Lane finds his mother's loss almost unbearable; he acts out at school, biting a girl on the shoulder. Sebby's father, Stephen, is nearly unable to function, and, in an attempt to help both Sebby and himself, takes Sebby to the family summer home, hoping that a change of scenery will ease their mourning. Once there, however, Stephen slips ever deeper into his misery. Sebby, however, reaches out, writing letters to his teacher and befriending two unpleasant neighbor children. Though the narrative direction is muzzy and the conclusion is saccharine with forced uplift, the cast is portrayed with keen sympathy and sensitivity — no easy task with a young, on-the-spectrum narrator. Told in brief poetic vignettes, the novel moves quickly and episodically, like a series of snapshots from the camera of Sebby's unique mind. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'The Asperger's afflicted narrator of Brinkman's sincere, sober debut struggles to cope with his pregnant mother's recent death after she was hit by a car. Already keenly sensitive to emotional and sensory stimuli, Sebby Lane finds his mother's loss almost unbearable; he acts out at school, biting a girl on the shoulder. Sebby's father, Stephen, is nearly unable to function, and, in an attempt to help both Sebby and himself, takes Sebby to the family summer home, hoping that a change of scenery will ease their mourning. Once there, however, Stephen slips ever deeper into his misery. Sebby, however, reaches out, writing letters to his teacher and befriending two unpleasant neighbor children. Though the narrative direction is muzzy and the conclusion is saccharine with forced uplift, the cast is portrayed with keen sympathy and sensitivity — no easy task with a young, on-the-spectrum narrator. Told in brief poetic vignettes, the novel moves quickly and episodically, like a series of snapshots from the camera of Sebby's unique mind. (July)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Up High in the Trees is a visceral, heart-wrenching, gorgeous book. What moves me most about Brinkman's first novel is the voice: It's pitch-perfect and mesmerizing. With Up High in the Trees Brinkman has created a fully realized, wholly original, and powerfully felt world."
"Review" by , "This is a very moving and perfectly convincing portrait of the inner life of an unusual boy, Sebby, cast into the deep black waters of a mother's death. As his family thrashes and drowns and treads water around him, he has to choose if and how to survive. Brinkman's portrait of Sebby and his family is humane and uncompromising, never maudlin, and, in the end, we root for Sebby as if he were our own."
"Synopsis" by ,
An exquisite debut novel about a family in turmoil told in the startling, deeply affecting voice of a nine-year-old, autistic boy. Following the sudden death of Sebby's mother, his father takes Sebby to live in the family's summerhouse, hoping it will give them both time and space to recover. But Sebby's father deteriorates in this new isolation, leaving Sebby struggling to understand his mother's death alone, dreaming and even re-living moments of her life. He ultimately reaches out to a favorite teacher back home and to two nearby children who force him out of the void of the past and help him to exist in the present. In spare and gorgeous prose buoyed by the life force of its small, fearless narrator, Up High in the Trees introduces an astonishingly fresh and powerful literary voice.
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