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Book Title: Alice Bliss|
The author of the book: Laura Harrington
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Reader ratings: 4.7
Date of issue: June 2011
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.14 MB
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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.
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Read information about the authorLaura Harrington's award-winning plays, musicals, and operas have been widely produced across America, in Canada, and Europe in venues ranging from off-off-Broadway to Houston Grand Opera. She is the 2008 Kleban Award Winner for most promising librettist in American Musical Theatre. Harrington has twice won both the Massachusetts Cultural Council Award and the Clauder Competition for best new play in New England.
A Catalog of Birds, her new novel, published by Europa Editions, is set in 1970, a watershed moment in American history, A Catalog of Birds tells the story of the Flynn family and the devastating impact of the Vietnam War. At the heart of the novel is the relationship between siblings Nell and Billy Flynn. Nell excels academically and is headed to college and a career in science. Billy, a passionate artist, enlists as a pilot to fulfill his lifelong dream of flying. The only survivor when his helicopter is shot down, he returns home so seriously wounded he may never use his right hand again. As Billy struggles to regain the life he once had, Nell and their family will have to do all that’s possible to save him.
“Taut and true, A Catalog of Birds is a beautiful book about family, loss and love. Its memorable characters will haunt you long after you put it down.”
Claire Messud, award-winning author of The Woman Upstairs
"You know the Flynns. They’re that family down the street—or perhaps your own family— imperfect, loving, loyal, angry, secretive, stubborn, barely making ends meet, church-going but not always believing, each carrying burdens they can never quite put down. At once spare and richly symphonic, A Catalog of Birds brings you into the very marrow of the Flynns and those in their orbit, each page wrapping you in more tightly until you can’t let go even after the words stop. Get a copy for a friend—you’ll want to have someone to talk to about it as soon as you finish."
Juliette Fay, best-selling author of The Tumbling Turner Sisters
Her first novel, Alice Bliss, (Viking/ Penguin) is a Boston Globe bestseller and the winner of the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction. Alice Bliss has been lauded as a "Discover Great New Writers" at Barnes & Noble, "Best Books of the Summer" at Entertainment Weekly, a "People Pick" at People Magazine and "Best Books of 2011" by the School Library Journal. Foreign rights have been sold in the UK, Italy and Denmark.
Alice Bliss was chosen by the Richard and Judy Book Club in the UK, where it was featured in all WH Smith Book Shops throughout Britain.
Laura teaches playwriting at MIT where she was awarded the 2009 Levitan Prize for Excellence in Teaching. She has also been a frequent guest artist at Tufts, Harvard, Wellesley, and the University of Iowa and most recently, the Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence at UMASS Lowell.
She is currently writing Alice Bliss, the musical, with a commission from Playwrights Horizons in NYC. She is working with the composer Jenny Giering, lyricist Adam Gwon, and director Mark Brokaw.
Book Clubs: If you'd like me to visit your book club -- in person or by phone or Skype -- please contact me. Also, please "Like" my page on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/LHarringtonbooks
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