[amazon_image id="0670022780" link="true" target="_blank" size="large" ]Alice Bliss: A Novel[/amazon_image]
Title: [amazon_link id="0670022780" target="_blank" ]Alice Bliss[/amazon_link]
Author: Laura Harrington
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 6, 2011 (Yes, that’s TODAY!)
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Synopsis from Amazon.com:
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.
I just started this book and I am immediately drawn to the beautiful prose of Laura Harrington. For example, at the very beginning:
She gave in, finally, and danced with her father – embarrassed to be asked by him, worried that everyone would be watching and judging and thinking her still a child. But he surprises her. He is a good dancer. Precise. His hands firm on her back or her hand or her arm. She is suddenly dancing better than she has ever danced before, suddenly experiencing the freedom inside the squares. She can let go because he is so confident. She is tasting something adult, grown-up, or almost tasting it. It is just beyond her reach, this feeling, what it is, how to name it and understand it. Now it is pure sensation, unadulterated fun. Years later she will remember his touch on her back, pulling her in, letting her go, her own helpless laughter, the way he guided her, his touch steady and strong, and how he held her close and let her go, over and over again. (pgs. 1-2)
I love the picture the author paints with this scene of a young girl dancing with her father. First she’s embarrassed, but then she gives into the moment and just lets go. I can just picture them in my mind; father and daughter, just before he will get the news that he’s going off to war. It is pure innocence before the harsh realities of the world invade their lives.
I can’t wait to delve deeper into this novel.
Thanks to the publisher, I have 3 copies of this book to give away to some lucky blog readers! You must be a USA resident to enter! I am testing out a beta giveaway entry compiler called RAFFLECOPTER. If you have any questions or comments about it, please leave them in the comments or e-mail me. It looks pretty cool and from what I’ve seen so far, I really like it. YOU MUST DO THE FIRST THING IN THE LIST (comment on this post) to be entered! Once you do that, the other optional entries will unlock. This is a new thing for me as well, so let me know if there are any issues!
Giveaway ends June 13 at 11:59pm EST! Good luck!