Diane Yannick's Reviews > Alice Bliss

Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington
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's review
Sep 29, 2012

it was ok

I bought an autographed copy of this book in Raleigh as the author had visited Quail Ridge book store. It is the story of a family learning how to live again after the loss of their husband/father in the war in Iraq. Every possible emotion and situation is mined for emotional impact. I wasn't affected in any big way because I felt that our emotions were being commanded rather than coaxed.

I enjoyed the relationship between Matt, the dad, and his fifteen year old daughter, Alice. I thought their interactions were touching without being sappy. The character that didn't work for me was Ellie. Ok, she was a precocious eight year old but she was way over the top. Kids that age just don't go around spouting words like fernticle, jillick, neologist and bibliobibuli. None of her relationships with other characters rang true to me.

I also felt that many of the descriptions were contrived and got in the way of the story. Here's one example: "Ellie releases her seat belt and climb's (yes, the apostrophe was there!) into Alice's lap. She snuggles under Alice's chin as Alice's arms go around her. She insinuates her little hands right around Alice's neck as she shifts her head to Alice's shoulder." Yikes! Insinuates.....

I also felt that the flashbacks that told of Matt's and Angie's courtship were not smoothly integrated.

This was the first novel by an author I will not seek out in the future. Interesting that she is an award winning playwright, lyricist, and librettist.

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