The Silver Thaw

( 5 )

Overview

A manager for a mega corporation, Ready Smith is at a crossroads. One year ago, his wife, Arzz, left him after twenty-four years of marriage. Following twelve months of denial, he realizes that he feels numb to everything around him. Now, Ready is desperate to make amends and reconnect with Arzz and his two adult children. But is it too late?

Ready is about to learn the true nature of forgiveness and redemption as he undertakes his formidable quest for reconciliation. He finds a...

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Overview

A manager for a mega corporation, Ready Smith is at a crossroads. One year ago, his wife, Arzz, left him after twenty-four years of marriage. Following twelve months of denial, he realizes that he feels numb to everything around him. Now, Ready is desperate to make amends and reconnect with Arzz and his two adult children. But is it too late?

Ready is about to learn the true nature of forgiveness and redemption as he undertakes his formidable quest for reconciliation. He finds a kindred spirit in Hillary Bush, an African-American woman he barely knows, but with whom he shares a particular bond. There are parallels in their lives that transcend coincidence, and Ready learns that she has known more than her share of personal tragedy. Ultimately, the strength she displays in the face of her suffering gives Ready the courage to go on when he finds himself in the "silver thaw" of his own life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595679423
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2006
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Customer Reviews

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( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    The Silver Thaw is a very well written novel about one man¿s road to redemption. It is set in the Pacific Northwest, and the tone begins melancholy, but it carefully shifted to optimistic during the course of the story. McReynolds carefully uses situations and conversation to relay the sense of emptiness his main character, Ready Smith, feels in the beginning. I think most people in the world, no matter who they are or what their job is, can relate to the outlook this man has. As with most stories of redemption, Ready is faced with a person and a crisis, both of which force him to examine his life and search out his heart. McReynolds masterfully illustrates the emotions and life experiences Ready goes through on his path back to humanity. This book is stirring and thought provoking, leaving the reader with a sense that they have experienced life through the eyes of another. It also takes the reader back to one¿s own journey to recovery, something all men and women must face at some point in their lives. It's a great book, everyone. Check it out!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2007

    A Gem of a Literary Keepsake

    The Silver Thaw is a gem of a literary keepsake. Thomas Saint McReynolds has gone beyond the traditional description of characters, as he exemplifies not only their physical attributes, emotional and thought processes, but anthropomorphizes their very existence. The world which McReynolds has created within The Silver Thaw fluently brings you on a journey riddled with myriad peaks and valleys of emotion. His impeccable attention to detail is absolutely sensational. McReynolds puts you, the reader, into the shoes of his main character, Ready as he walks through the Sodom of corporate America, exquisitely paralleling Ready's professional life and personal sacrifices, all the while personifying his realizations. The people he meets along the way are just as similarly revealed creating a milieu of reality, a reality so replete with political bane, that you cannot help but feel the bricks under your own feet. The Silver Thaw will bring you through the entire spectrum of human emotion leaving you breathless. Although the work of fiction, McReynolds has managed to weave just enough reality into his rendering that you will undoubtedly walk away from this book with an extreme enlightenment. Thomas Saint McReynolds is a master of his craft. After reading The Silver Thaw, I am left on the edge of my seat awaiting the next venture that McReynolds will design. Truly, McReynolds is a brilliant author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2007

    Emotionally Involving

    'The Silver Thaw' by Thomas Saint McReynolds is not only entertaining and emotionally involving, but as far as I'm concerned it's one of the most important works of fiction I've come across in recent memory. Why? Because with this story McReynolds is holding a mirror up to today's society, and what is reflected there is an accurate, if not altogether pleasant, image of who we are and where we are in America today. Like everyone else in the country (I would hope), I was outraged by the whole Enron scandal, and McReynolds seems to draw upon the outrage of a nation by going behind the scenes, as it were, to illustrate the soullessness that is Corporate America in the 21st Century. The main character, Ready Smith, is a man who gets so caught up in his career with 'EnTrustCo,' the huge corporation he works for, that he neglects his wife and family to the point that he ends up losing them. As the story begins, Ready's wife, Arzz, has been gone for nearly a year, having left him abruptly one day after more than twenty years of marriage. It finally hits Ready when he wakes up one day and realizes that he doesn't care about anything anymore. In fact, he can't 'feel' anything, and starts to wonder if he's losing his humanity. He wonders at one point if this is what it feels like to be 'comfortably numb,' as he remembers Pink Floyd said in one of their songs. As the story progresses, you really get to know Ready Smith- what he's thinking and what he's going through emotionally as he tries to turn his life around. McReynolds has a way of making you feel Ready's exasperation and frustration as he hits one roadblock after another, and that's one of the things that makes this such a good read this isn't a fairy-tale, happily-ever-after story, but one that shows how real life more often than not plays out. At first, I didn't know what to think of Ready Smith, whether or not I was even going to like him. But this is a complex character- like people are in real life- and after a few chapters I began to strongly identify with him, I think because of the 'humanity' within him that ultimately is revealed, and once you begin to see the contrast between who Ready is and those he's been working for, Ready emerges as a truly sympathetic character. On the other side of the coin, McReynolds gives you a good look at what makes a businessman like EnTrustCo CEO Franklin Forbes Bedlam tick and what motivates him, which can be summed up in two words: money and power. McReynolds infuses his story with a lot of heart, and the relationships that are examined between Ready and Hillary (a woman he hires as his secretary), and between Ready and his children, Summer Rain and Michelangelo Vincent, are by turns touching and heartbreaking. This is all serious stuff, of course, but McReynolds also laces his story with just enough humor to give the reader an emotional break from time to time. More than the story itself, the imaginative and stylistic approach McReynolds uses in the telling of it makes it an even more rewarding experience. At times he uses a stream-of-consciousness technique that threw me at first, but once I realized what he was doing it was like a door into Ready's thoughts had opened up, which provided the kind of insights that really helped flesh out Ready, as well as the other characters. After a certain point, I couldn't wait to find out how Ready's travails were going to be resolved, while at the same time, this was one of those books I didn't want to see end, I think because it touched upon the whole spectrum of the experience we call life- love, sadness, hope, despair, what we want and what we need, it's all here. I can't think of another book, in fact, that's affected me this way since 'Angela's Ashes,' by Frank McCourt.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2007

    Exceptional Book

    This book by Thomas Saint McReynolds is an extraordinary commentary on contemporary society. It's about a man named Ready Able Smith, who without realizing what he was doing, sacrificed everything over the years that really meant anything to him, all for the sake of a 'career.' Finally, at the age of 45, he wakes up to the fact that his wife is gone (she left him after 24 years of marriage) and his two children, now adults, want nothing to do with him. 'The Silver Thaw' is the story of how Ready Smith goes about trying to put his life back together. The corporation Ready works for is EnTrustCo, reminiscent of Enron, which McReynolds must have had in mind when he wrote this, and it works so well. EnTrustCo is huge, with fingers in all kinds of pies (which McReynolds points out in an especially memorable chapter), and if you've ever worked in Corporate America, or known anyone who has, you'll know someone just like Ready Smith. I certainly do, which is one of the things that made this story so compelling for me. It's an emotional journey (at one point I actually had to stop reading because I was crying so hard) that really makes you stop and think about the things that really matter in life. McReynolds knows human nature and puts that knowledge between the covers of this book as well as any author I've ever read, right up there with Dostoevsky and Virginia Woolf. This is an introspective character study, and McReynolds has a way of getting the reader inside the head of his protagonist, which is a rare talent, and he writes with a kind of rhythm that sweeps the reader along from one page to the next. This is one of the best books I've read in a long time, 5 stars just isn't enough.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2007

    The Silver Thaw Presents Timely Picture of America at the Crossroads

    Thomas Saint McReynolds has presented in his novel ¿The Silver Thaw¿ a lucid and vigorous presentation of America at the crossroads in a work that is as timely as today¿s headlines. While presented in fictional format, McReynolds has done what John Steinbeck accomplished in ¿The Grapes of Wrath,¿ using fiction to send an important message to fellow Americans during critical historical crossroads. Just as Steinbeck was known for enriching readers with fascinating views of the Monterey Peninsula in which he grew up, McReynolds provides a vivid picture of the Pacific Northwest, specifically Oregon, in which he has made his home for the past thirty years. The other realm in which ¿The Silver Thaw¿ resembles ¿The Grapes of Wrath¿ is that, like Steinbeck, McReynolds is an author on a mission. Steinbeck examined the plight of migrant workers made homeless by the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression of the thirties. McReynolds concentrates on present day America and excoriates the nation¿s political leadership along with culpable corporate leaders for their roles in creating a nation where some bask in super wealth while increasing numbers fall dangerously and precipitously below the poverty line. The novel¿s primary figure is Ready Smith, who grew up in Tillamook, Oregon, where he proudly visited his father at the cheese factory, the town¿s largest employer. He ultimately moves to Ashland, where he obtains employment from EnTrustCo, an international and icily indifferent corporate conglomerate. McReynolds frequently uses names to demonstrate a point. In this instance it is clear that he intends for readers to link the name EnTrustCo to Enron, the corporation run by the late Ken Lay that evoked widespread suffering on many Americans and was immersed in multi-faceted scandal through its sleazy manipulations. The novel begins with Smith, at 45, caught up in a ¿silver thaw¿ or a deep freeze in the phraseology of Oregonians. The tragedy commences when his wife Arzz leaves him after 24 years of marriage. Arzz does not even confront him directly about leaving, but instead expresses her feelings in a letter she leaves behind. Smith reveals the fearful cognitive dissonance of his life by being unable to read the letter until an entire year has passed, what will turn out to be the most pivotal year of his life. A critical moment of conflict arrives when EnTrustCo decides to expand its tenacious tentacles into the software market by establishing a base in Mexico. The outsourcing scheme coupled with the idea of relocating to a small outpost in Mexico prompts Mickey Hanrahan, head of one of the corporation¿s software divisions, to fall to pieces. Smith observes the emotional freeze of the greedy corporate mentality in the reactions of his fellow corporate soldiers when Hanrahan staggers into a meeting in a state of alcoholic grief. In place of feeling for the plight of a fellow EnTrustCo high level employee caught in the grips of emotional tragedy, the group instead laughs and belittles Hanrahan in his absence. Smith takes note, but there is much more trouble brewing on the immediate horizon. Hanrahan, unable to cope with the inner demons tormenting him, commits suicide. This proves to be a major eye opener for Smith, particularly the conduct of the organization¿s CEO. Once more McReynolds provides us with a clue into a character¿s persona. The heartless CEO is Franklin Forbes Bedlam. Smith is inwardly crushed when Bedlam and others malign Hanrahan for causing the corporation embarrassment. Not a single word is expressed about the impact the oppressive corporation had on the deceased. The stage is set for an ultimately pivotal move by Smith after he selects a new secretary. An unexplained feeling imparts itself into Smith as he sits at a Starbucks and runs through the resumes of candidates. He is overcome when he encounters the name of Hillary Bush, a 39-year-old African American employee of En

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