Karen Ball's Reviews > Alive and Well in Prague, New York

Alive and Well in Prague, New York by Daphne Benedis-Grab
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's review
Jun 05, 2011

really liked it
Read in November, 2008

Matisse Osgood is the daughter of two well-known artists: a sculptor and a painter. She has grown up in New York City, with all of its cultural events and fast-paced life. When her father is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and can no longer control his muscles enough to sculpt, Matisse's parents decide to leave the bustling city for the small town of Prague, NY. Matisse can't stand her mother pretending that everything is fine, and her increasingly silent father retreating into his bedroom as he loses more and more muscle control. Add to that, her new high school is wretchedly mundane, and she makes a grand total of one new friend in Violet. As her father's symptoms worsen, rumors spread in school and in the community, and Matisse is horrified by the small-town mentality -- but she discovers that just like them, she has needed a mentality adjustment also. For example, her neighbor Hal, whom she assumed was a hick moron, is actually a young man interested in sustainable, organic farming. This is a story about a difficult situation, and how one girl found much more than she ever thought possible through it. 8th grade and up.

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