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Alice Bliss: A Novel
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

Book Cover
Average Rating
Published:
Penguin Publishing Group 2011
Accelerated Reader:
IL: UG - BL: 4.5 - AR Pts: 13
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
"Outside the back window Alice can see the outlines of the garden, some of the furrows visible under the snow, stretching away in long thin rows. She can't imagine doing the garden without her dad. It's his thing; she's always thought of herself as his assistant at best. She can't imagine doing anything without her dad and she starts to feel like she can't breathe. And then she looks at him. Just looks at him as he watches the fire with muffin crumbs on his lap.
'I'll write to you.'
'I know, sweetheart.'
'Every day.'"
—From Alice Bliss
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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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/02/2011
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101515297
ASIN:
B004IYIJ1G
Accelerated Reader:
UG
Level 4.5, 13 Points
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Laura Harrington. (2011). Alice Bliss: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Laura Harrington. 2011. Alice Bliss: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Laura Harrington, Alice Bliss: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group, 2011.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Laura Harrington. Alice Bliss: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group, 2011. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
2b6e2679-6611-e0d6-487f-1d9173610f1e
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Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:26:09
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:42:58
Last Metadata Check:
Oct 25, 2021 20:55:04
Last Metadata Change:
Oct 17, 2021 07:54:23
Last Availability Check:
Oct 25, 2021 20:55:07
Last Availability Change:
Aug 06, 2018 14:37:21
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Oct 28, 2021 02:08:33

OverDrive Product Record

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title
Alice Bliss
fullDescription
"Outside the back window Alice can see the outlines of the garden, some of the furrows visible under the snow, stretching away in long thin rows. She can't imagine doing the garden without her dad. It's his thing; she's always thought of herself as his assistant at best. She can't imagine doing anything without her dad and she starts to feel like she can't breathe. And then she looks at him. Just looks at him as he watches the fire with muffin crumbs on his lap.
'I'll write to you.'
'I know, sweetheart.'
'Every day.'"
—From Alice Bliss
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.
gradeLevels
      • value: Grade 3
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 28, 2011
        Playwright and lyricist Harrington transforms her one-act musical Alice Unwrapped into a moving debut about loss and survival. Fifteen-year-old Alice has always been closer to her father (they share a love of working with their hands) than to her mother, but when she needs him the most, he's deployed to Iraq. Alice flexes her independence by claiming his workshop as her own and wearing his shirt. She feels a mix of responsibility and resentment toward her precocious little sister and her disengaged mother, and pursues typical teenage rites of passage while fearing the arrival of bad news. When it comes, Alice inspires her family to preserve her father's traditions and to craft new ones in his honor. The playwright's facility with language is evident throughout: "Maybe, she thinks, maybe he'll be home in time for cucumbers, and if not cucumbers, then for corn, and if not corn, then surely in time for tomatoes." Though the fluid narration offers access to many characters, this is the story of Alice, her courage, fear, and optimism, and her heartbreaking discovery of the extent to which her father's life will shape and guide her own.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 15, 2011

        Playwright Harrington's first novel, based on her one-woman musical, focuses on the upstate New York family of a National Guard reservist called into service during the Iraq War.

        Salt-of-the-earth Matt Bliss considers it his moral obligation to serve his country, although he hates leaving behind his beloved, distraught wife Angie and his daughters: 8-year-old Ellie and 15-year-old Alice. Once he's left for duty, Angie throws herself into her insurance career but can barely function domestically. Precocious Ellie starts wetting the bed and reading Matt's dictionary aloud. Stalwart Alice, with whom Matt has always shared a special bond, tries to pick up the slack at home with only minimal success. For support she turns to her longtime best friend Henry, the unbelievably caring boy every mother hopes her teenage daughter will luck into as her first love. At the cusp of adolescence, Alice finds their relationship changing in confusing ways, especially when an older, popular but equally sensitive boy named John shows an interest in her. Teenage romance takes the passenger seat when word comes that Matt has been declared MIA. Fortunately, the Blisses receive succor from Angie's mother and brother, as well as many friends in their idyllic small town. Angie rises to the challenge, helping her daughters function day by day. By the time they learn Matt's fate, Angie and Alice have struggled past minor mother-daughter tensions to offer each other consolation. Alice is in many ways a different girl by story's end. The novel closes with a lovely image that theatrically arcs back to the opening scene.

        It feels curmudgeonly to fault Harrington's earnest, uplifting (and apolitical) approach to this topical subject, but the surfeit of sensitivity weakens its impact and the reader's interest.

        (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 15, 2011

        Alice Bliss is heartbroken but hopeful when her dad is sent to Iraq; she wears his favorite shirt daily. Then comes that terrifying moment when two uniformed officers arrive at the door. Playwright Harrington's debut novel should touch a nerve for many readers.

        Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2011
        It's hard enough being a teenager, clashing with your mother and annoyed by your little sister, without having your dad gone. Fifteen-year-old Alice Bliss, who learned about life in general and gardening in particular from her father, Matt, was so bereft when his guard unit deployed to Iraq that for weeks she wore one of his shirts for its lingering scent of him. Assuring his wife, Angie, that he'd come home, Matt still prepared for all contingencies, including leaving letters to Alice for future milestones in her life, and he left a solid support system that started with Angie's mother and her brother, Eddie. But while Gram could cook and comfort, and Uncle Eddie could fix the washer and teach Alice to drive, no one could help when two soldiers came to the Bliss' door. This is a remarkably sensitive first novel, full of splendid characterizations, about a family left behind when a man goes off to war and a teenager is left trying to cope with her own feelings while covering for her emotionally reeling mother. It's a heartbreakerhave tissues at handwith promise shining through the pain.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
"Outside the back window Alice can see the outlines of the garden, some of the furrows visible under the snow, stretching away in long thin rows. She can't imagine doing the garden without her dad. It's his thing; she's always thought of herself as his assistant at best. She can't imagine doing anything without her dad and she starts to feel like she can't breathe. And then she looks at him. Just looks at him as he watches the fire with muffin crumbs on his lap.
'I'll write to you.'
'I know, sweetheart.'
'Every day.'"
—From Alice Bliss

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...
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