by Laura Harrington
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books (May 29, 2012)
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Tomboy Alice Bliss is heartbroken when she learns that her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq. Matt will miss seeing Alice blossom into a full-blown teenager: she'll 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 her precocious little sister. But the phone calls from her father are never long enough. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving story about those who are left at home during wartime and a small-town teenage girl bravely facing the future.For those of us who have no real experience with military life, Laura Harrington's book is a window into the lives of those who stay behind when a loved one goes to war. It feels real. It is filled with tension. It is heart-wrenching on many levels. I really, really like this book and it left me in tears when I turned the last page.
The main character is 15 year old Alice Bliss. Her father, Matt, is a member of the Army Reserves whose unit has been called into action. Matt is the heart of his family and his absence brings the differences between Alice and her mother, Angie, to the forefront. Alice is determined to carry out everything that Matt would do if he were at home. She works in his workshop, plants the garden and listens for his voice. Angie is simply trying to get by until Matt comes home and finds Alice's stubbornness annoying. The youngest member of the family is 8 year old Ellie.
It seems that the more I like a book the less I have to say about it in a review. I don't want to give away too much and it is hard to express all the thoughts and emotions that the book brought up. There are some language issues but the language doesn't feel forced. For me this is a great book and I highly recommend it.
- Sexual Content: Moderate
- Profanity: Heavy
- Violence: Mild
- Other Notables: Underage drinking
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