Author: Laura Harrington
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Publication Date: June 2, 2011
Source: Paperback for book tour
About the Book: When Alice Bliss learns that her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq, she's heartbroken. Alice idolizes her father, loves working beside him in their garden, accompanying him on the occasional roofing job, playing baseball. When he ships out, Alice is faced with finding a way to fill the emptiness he has left behind.
Matt will miss seeing his daughter blossom from a tomboy into a full-blown teenager. Alice will learn to drive, join the track team, go to her first dance, and fall in love, all while trying to be strong for her mother, Angie, and take care of her precocious little sister, Ellie. But the smell of Matt is starting to fade from his blue shirt that Alice wears everyday, and the phone calls are never long enough.
Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel about love and its many variations--the support of a small town looking after its own; love between an absent father and his daughter; the complicated love between an adolescent girl and her mother; and an exploration of new love with the boy-next-door. These characters' struggles amidst uncertain times echo our own, lending the novel an immediacy and poignancy that is both relevant and real. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a transforming story about those who are left at home during wartime, and a teenage girl bravely facing the future.
My Thoughts: Typically when I finish read a book I have a few notes to show for it. At the end of Alice Bliss I had an empty kleenex box and eyes that looked like this:
|a bloodshot, puffy, make-up running mess!|
One of the aspects of Alice Bliss that really made it stick out from other "military" stories in my mind was it's timeline. We get a glimpse in to the lives of Alice and her family before, during, and after her father's deployment. I felt so invested in their story. I also liked that it's told in the third person point of view. The narrator has glimpses in to what the various characters are thinking. These tidbits are shared with the reader. I love getting to see what multiple characters are thinking throughout the story. And I just have to say... Alice's best friend Henry? I just want to hug him. Dear, sweet boy!
Alice Bliss is a poignant gem of a book. It is in turns heartwarming and heartbreaking. Alice plants herself in your heart and just grows and grows. I will certainly be keeping my eyes peeled for more from Ms. Harrington (after they recover from all the crying of course!)
You can find Laura at:
Penguin Books (the publishers of the paperback) has graciously provided a copy of Alice Bliss for me to give away. Just use the rafflecopter below to enter. US only. Ends 10/16. Must be 13 or older.