50 in 2012: Book Thirty EightPosted: August 18, 2012
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A story of courage, strength and the coming of age of one Alice Bliss. Already struggling through the tumultuous waves of teenage angst, Alice must learn to navigate the confusing roads of life without her father who has been deployed to Iraq. Her biggest fan, her closest ally: gone in body but there in spirit and letters. Their closeness multiplied in his absence. Her entire family braces for his year long deployment, each of them struggling to find their new place in a temporary family of three.
At fifteen Alice is beginning to experience the complication of relationships while wishing every moment that her father was there to afford his sage advice. The pain and sacrifice of a family left behind is beautifully illustrated. My heart broke for Alice and Ellie as they longed for their father, and Angie who simply wanted to hold her husband. The constant state of unknown causes a range of emotions in all three of Matt Bliss’ girls: anger, fear, sadness, anxiety.
Their world is shattered as they see two uniformed officers approach their door. Missing. Matt Bliss is MIA. They are told to go about their everyday business as they await more news. Alice is stunned and fails to understand how anyone can go about any sort of business with such turmoil brewing over their heads. Yet, she does. And each day brings new strength and courage.
A heartbreaking yet inspiring story. I desperately long to know what Alice is up to now. How she is coping. What she is doing. Whom she loves: Henry? A heroine who will firmly entrench herself among your heartstrings and stick with you long after her written story ends…absorbing, amazing read.