Friday, October 17, 2014

2 A.M at The Cat's Pajama's by Marie-Helene Bertino 272 pages

How can a book about a legendary jazz club in Philadelphia remind me of The Milagro Beanfield War?  The answer is, it just did, and I am not sure how.  Maybe it was the part about all the characters having hope, despite the odds being stacked against them.

This is a book that begins at 7 a.m. on Christmas Eve and ends twenty-four hours later.  The story revolves around Madeleine, who is almost ten years old,and who aspires to be a jazz singer.  She attends a Catholic school, has lost her mother to cancer, and lives with her father, who is so bereft he hardly notices that she exists.

The host of characters in the book include Madeleine’s school teacher, principal and acquaintances.  The owner of the Cat’s Pajamas is named Lorca and his band and compadres at the club make up the rest of the colorful characters.

The story moves quickly, a lot of history is packed into the pages.  Everyone has dreams and aspirations and, some are realized and some are not, by the end of the book.  There is a little magic, but not enough to put the readers off (like myself) who do not want a book to be all about magic.

I would recommend this book.

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