We Will Never Forget! Today is Memorial Day where we honor those who lost their lives for our freedom. Why is this my Live a Little Monday post, you may ask? We are free to Live a Little because amazing men and women fought for our freedom.
Tomorrow, the paperback version of Alice Bliss comes out. This book by Laura Harrington embodies the spirit of Memorial Day. I first read the book a year ago. In memory of those who fought for our freedom, here is my review of Alice Bliss- a must read!
What a special and well written book! Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington is so very poignant and Harrington’s writing is so beautiful that you are anxious to read to the end. This is a frst novel for Harrington, an award winning playwright. She teaches playwriting at MIT so she is clearly bigtime. You can learn more of Laura at www.lauraharringtonbooks.com.
The subject matter is tough- a devoted husband and father, Matt, is in the reserves and sent to Iraq. Alice is a strong teenager who the father relies upon to take care of the family while he is gone. Angie, Alice’s mother, is not a strong woman to begin with and she really loses it when Matt leaves. Alice takes over the care of Ellie, her younger sister, learns to drive and handles cooking and laundry.
The book is filled with dichotomies, starting with Alice’s last name. Given her serious nature and what is going on in her family life, Bliss is clearly not the word you would use to describe her. Alice is a teenager but must be the adult when her mother cannot be. Henry, Alice’s best friend who has a crush on her, wants her to buy an Audrey Hepburn-esque dress for a dance while Alice would rather wear her father’s old shirt all the time.
Harrington’s descriptive writing is lovely-
“There is magic occurring in front of her eyes. The heavens are throwing jewels at her feet.”
“If there was a red light in her brain, it would be flashing. Crazy outcast girl talking to the most popular boy at school. And the topic she chooses, dying. Not a good idea! Cease and desist!”
When the two soldiers come to the family’s door, Alice has to learn a new strength that her father knew she had. The author is masterful at showing a young girl’s coming of age, dating and a first kiss all while dealing with the worst of family strife. This book is a coming of age story that is profoundly moving. A must read!
Penguin Group provided a review copy of this book for this post. All opinions are my own.
What are you reading and where are you going?