Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Alice Bliss - Laura Harrington

Alice Bliss is fifteen, and lives with her younger sister Ellie, mother Angie and father Matt. The novel is written in the third-person but is very much about Alice primarily,  and it is put together in the form of entries from various dates in one period of her life. Her father is a carpenter and engineer, but also an army reservist and has decided he is going to the war in Iraq. The rest of the family doesn’t want him to go and, when he does leave, they feel his absence keenly. Alice takes on a mothering role to herself and Ellie when her unhappy mother cannot manage to perform the domestic duties like cooking and cleaning due to her pain at the absense of Matt.

Alice is incredibly close to her father, she has spent many happy hours with him in his workshop, and planting and organizing the garden with him, and when he goes off to fight in the war she misses him terribly. Alongside this, Alice is of course a teenage girl, feeling the usual worries and awkwardness of growing up, trying to understand her feelings about boys, and so on. In particular her best friend Henry, who she has known since they were little. There are another couple of supporting characters, her mum’s brother, Uncle Eddie, and her mother’s mother, Gram, who are both there to support the family as they discover that Matt is reported missing in action. They must deal with the news that they may never see him again.

This is a lovely debut novel, nicely written, and Alice is a likeable, sympathetic  character. I would recommend this both as a satisfying, intellingent young adult and adult read.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. It's great reading your comments and I really appreciate them :)