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Monday, May 23, 2011

Day Three Hundred Twenty-Seven

Welcome to my Giveaway!!

Recently I was given the privilege to read a new novel about a family going through a new deployment. Of course, I jumped on the chance because I love reading and I love military life! Here's a bit about the book, Alice Bliss, and it's author:

Alice Bliss is fifteen and is heartbroken when she learns her father is being deployed to Iraq. He’s leaving just as his daughter blossoms into a full-blown teenager. She will learn to drive, shop for a dress for her first dance, and fall in love all while trying to be strong for her mother and take care of her younger sister. Alice wears her dad’s shirt every day; even though the scent of him is fading and his phone calls are never long enough. Life continues without him, but nothing can prepare Alice for the day two uniformed officers arrive at their door with news.

Faced with life without him, Alice must learn to get through each day until it no longer hurts to smile; until she can see she still has a family, and she’s still surrounded by love. A profoundly moving, uplifting novel ALICE BLISS is a story about those who are left at home during wartime and a teenage girl bravely facing the future.

[The author] Laura Harrington a novelist, playwright, lyricist and librettist. She also teaches playwriting at MIT. ALICE BLISS grew out of Harrington’s one-woman musical Alice Unwrapped, which ran off-Broadway in New York and in the Minneapolis Fringe Festival in 2009. Turning it into a novel gave Harrington an opportunity to write about war from the perspective of those at home, to delve into growing up against the backdrop of war and loss; and finally to explore the loss of a father; something with which she has personal experience.

Harrington’s father was a navigator/bombardier in WWII, and both of her brothers enlisted in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Both brothers were forever changed by their experiences, and her father suffered from PTSD following the WWII. He was unable to talk about what he went through. She cites growing up a witness to her father’s silent suffering as one of the greatest mysteries and inspirations of her life.

Photo by Claire Zeller Barclay

Now my review: I'll start with the bad news - I had a difficult time reading this. Oh my goodness, I hate to say it, as a writer and reader and an extended member of the military. It wasn't the story and it wasn't the characters. You know what I think it is? Timing on my part (being in the middle of another engaging book) and the present-tense of the novel. I guess I'm picky and have problems with present tense. Oh well.

The good news - it was a compelling story to read! It showed the family of a reservist going through presumably their first deployment together. The father with a strong sense of duty, the depressed wife without her love, the title character going through typical teenage challenges, and the fun loving and unsure younger daughter. It was interesting to see the various characters coming together in different ways and dealing with what the military life gives them, and also to see a different dynamic of military life that I'm not familiar with.

So... on to the giveaway!! I want to pass this book on to one of my lovely readers - it could be you!! Interested in getting your hands on this free copy? You don't have to do much.

Mandatory Entry

Comment on this blog telling me you'd like to win!

Extra Entries (separate comment per entry, please)
Blog about this giveaway
Tweet/FB about this giveaway

The giveaway will be open until Friday, where on my Friday blog I will announce the winner. Good luck!


  1. it sounds like a difficult but worthwhile read. count me in! : )

  2. Sounds like a good book! I'll make a note to buy it if I don't win :) Of course, winning would be much better though :)

  3. i'd love to win it! i need a new book:)

  4. I love books. I wanna win it! :)

  5. I'd love to win this book! Sounds like an awesome but challenging read!

  6. I shared this on Facebook. :)

  7. Pick me! Pick me! I want to win! :)


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