I reviewed Alice Bliss in December, calling the book “Absolutely Unforgettable.”
“Oh, Alice Bliss. If only I’d known ahead of time . . . or maybe not. This isn’t a story one can prepare for, and it’s not one from which a person can turn away. ALICE BLISS is a slice of life–a timely American classic from the day the words first hit the page. A story that is not only “now,” but also ageless. One of life and love and letting go, of moving on and healing and reaching for life through those hours that seem the darkest and equally those of blinding sun.
It’s amazing.” (read my full review here)
Alice Bliss (Pamela Dorman Books, Viking/Penguin) launches in paperback on May 29, 2012.
Massachusetts Library Association and Massachusetts Center for the Book have just named Alice Bliss a “Must-Read” book for 2012. School Library Journal named Alice Bliss to their Best of 2011 list in the category “Adult Books for Teens.” Barnes and Noble chose Alice Bliss for their “Discover Great New Writers Program.” Alice Bliss is a “People Pick” for People magazine, “Best Books of Summer” for Entertainment Weekly, and “Book of the Week” for Stylist Magazine in the UK.
ALICE BLISS | blurb
When Alice learns that her father, Matt Bliss, is being deployed to Iraq she’s heartbroken. Alice idolizes her dad, working beside him in their garden, accompanying him on the occasional roofing job, playing baseball. After Matt ships out, her mother begins to crumble under the pressure of suddenly being a single parent and Alice struggles to fill the void as she balances the drama of adolescence with the effort of keeping her family together.
But Alice is supported by a safety net strung with relationships, including almost boyfriends, a grandmother, a baker with too many children, her track coach, her kid sister, her Uncle Eddie, and even her well meaning but complicated mom. She will learn to drive, plant her father’s garden, and fall in love, all while trying to be strong for her mother, 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 his infrequent 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; 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.