Alice Bliss

by Laura Harrington (Pan Macmillan) ISBN 978-0-330-54417-7
This is one of the nicest and most poignant books I have read in a long time. Alice Bliss, a fifteen-year-old girl, is growing up and finding herself in a family faced with change. Alice loves her father and shares many special times with him. But he enlists and is called to serve in the war against terror. After he leaves, Alice and her mother and sister are forced to forge new relationships in their altered family space.
It is a delicate story about a girl maturing emotionally and socially in the context of a home missing a crucial element. All the characters in Alice’s life make up a fascinating slice of life. In particular, the letters and memories are beautifully evoked by Harrington.
However, when her father Matt Bliss is listed as missing, we see how Alice and her family are forced to cope. Highly recommended as an easy, afternoon read – weepy stuff too, so keep the tissues handy. I have passed it on to all my friends as it is an endearing, emotional story. Certainly not for macho types!
Shelley Roe-Berning
www.writerswrite.co.za 
4/5 

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