January 27, 2016 by Betty
Title: 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas
Author: Marie-Helene Bertino
Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, rebellious nine-year-old who also happens to be an aspiring jazz singer. Still mourning the recent death of her mother, and caring for her grief-stricken father, she doesn’t realize that on the eve of Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia’s legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat’s Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it.
As these three lost souls search for love, music and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia, together they will discover life’s endless possibilities over the course of one magical night. A vivacious, charming and moving debut, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas will capture your heart and have you laughing out loud.
**I was given this book via Blogging For Books for an honest review.**
I think I agree with the general consensus on this book. The writing is good, unique and quirky, yet it was a little hard to follow at times. Madeleine’s story broke my heart a little. She is a nine year old child whose mother recently died and who is neglected by her grieving father. He doesn’t purposefully ignore her, but he is mourning and isolates himself to the degree that Madeline has to quietly leave his food in his room, but never really speaks to him. Then there are the troubles she also faces in school…like being banned from singing in school, and being expelled.
Her teacher, Sarina Green also hurt my heart due to her tough childhood and the insecurities she faces as an adult. I enjoyed how realistic the story is at parts where the characters wrongly interpret other people’s actions or words since they can’t really see what is going on in the person’s head. That ending though…. It was so realistic. This story is nitty gritty and unapologetic about the daily life and troubles of random citizens of the city of Philadelphia. The problems they face are not magically solved or fixed by the end of the story.
The only thing I wasn’t crazy about, but it does add to the realism of the story, was the language and some of the things that happen in the story. However, as I said, it is realistic and we can’t control everything that happens, and/or we make inadvisable mistakes. Little problems or occurrences. Other than that, I give it two thumbs up.