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Extended Audio Sample Alice Bliss: A Novel Audiobook, by Laura Harrington Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,364 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Laura Harrington Narrator: Kate Rudd Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9781455816477
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Outside the back window Alice can see the outlines of the garden, some of the furrows visible under the snow, stretching away in long thin rows. She can’t imagine doing the garden without her dad. It’s his thing; she’s always thought of herself as his assistant at best. She can’t imagine doing anything without her dad and she starts to feel like she can’t breathe. And then she looks at him. Just looks at him as he watches the fire with muffin crumbs on his lap.
“I’ll write to you.”
“I know, sweetheart.”
“Every day.”

—From Alice Bliss

When Alice Bliss learns that her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq, she’s heartbroken. Alice idolizes her father, loves working beside him in their garden, accompanying him on the occasional roofing job, playing baseball. When he ships out, Alice is faced with finding a way to fill the emptiness he has left behind.

Matt will miss seeing his daughter blossom from a tomboy into a full-blown teenager. Alice will learn to drive, join the track team, go to her first dance, and fall in love, all while trying to be strong for her mother, Angie, and take care of her precocious little sister, Ellie. But the smell of Matt is starting to fade from his blue shirt, which Alice wears every day, and the phone calls are never long enough.

Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel about love and its many variations—the support of a small town looking after its own; love between an absent father and his daughter; the complicated love between an adolescent girl and her mother; and an exploration of new love with the boy next door. These characters’ struggles amid uncertain times echo our own, lending the novel an immediacy and a poignancy that are both relevant and real. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a transforming story about those who are left at home during wartime and a teenage girl bravely facing the future.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kendra | 2/8/2014

    " This book completely took me by surprise. When I first started reading it, I thought I'd be writing it off as schmaltzy and excessively patriotic (like the literary equivalent of one of those annoying Toby Keith songs that implore all of the flag-waving Amuricans to git them foreigners...). Instead, the story of Alice Bliss's father going off to war was really a vehicle for a book about families and the fact that families are made up of individuals who want and need completely different things. Or at least that's what I took away from it. It wasn't schmaltzy, but those other reviewers were right when they said to have the Kleenex ready. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle | 2/7/2014

    " I really liked this book it is sad that her father dies, but bad things do happen sometimes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 2/6/2014

    " Very good book, like the authors perspective and how she portrayed the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobbi Lamont | 1/25/2014

    " I enjoyed this coming of age book about 15 year old Alice Bliss and recommend it as a young adult book and for revisiting young adulthood. Relationships are very well drawn including very close father/daughter, tense mother/daughter, long-time friend/boyfriend, and kookly little sister relationships. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dillon | 1/11/2014

    " I was not too happy with this book because I felt that none of the characters were really stable to start with. Everything basically went wrong and stayed that way. I think one thing that is important in a situation as bad as this is that people pull together and become strong. Yes, there is Harry, but still people have to be strong from within. Also, I didn't feel that the plot of this story had much depth. It felt quite shallow and there were no interesting or brilliant plot twists I could note. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Johnna | 1/10/2014

    " Amazing! Extremely emotional and moving. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joy (Thoughts of Joy) | 1/2/2014

    " You can read my thoughts here. (3.25/5) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 11/16/2013

    " This was a really well written, heart wrenching book. I thought the characters were well developed and the story unfolded well. It was really sad, so be prepared for that. Towards the end I couldn't put it down. This might really be a 4.5 stars, but I didn't have that option! :) "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tracie | 11/6/2013

    " this one got 1 star only because i don't read to cry. that's what the news is for and i don't even WATCH that anymore. life is sad enough as it is. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bethany | 11/1/2013

    " In a twist on on "the movie is not as good as the book," I didn't find the book as compelling as the music-theatre companion piece/predecessor "Alice Unwrapped." Still, a beautiful, gut-wrenching, tear-inducing book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 10/16/2013

    " Even though you know what happens from the start .ie her dad is killed, this is not a bad story. It rolls along at a nice steady pace, the characters are well written and overall it deserves it's 3 stars. Put it this way, it past the day while I lay in bed with the flu! Oh and Henry is very sweet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacia Edgell | 9/20/2013

    " Reading this for my book club and loving it!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shamarie Pierce | 8/24/2013

    " An incredible book albeit heart wrenching in places. Harrington has a fabulous way of writing to make you feel like you're right there sharing every experience. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cara | 7/29/2013

    " One of the most beautiful books I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 6/23/2013

    " Really good book but I don't know if I can recommend a book that really had me in tears. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie Mcgilberry | 5/7/2013

    " A beautiful, heartbreaking coming-of-age story about love in all its variations. I bawled! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristin | 7/19/2012

    " Fantastic, poignant, beautifully-written coming of age story :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenna | 7/13/2012

    " This book would be just two stars but gets an extra star for making me cry despite not caring about any of its characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danielle | 3/12/2012

    " I loved this book. There are very few that have made me cry, but this one managed it. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 9/2/2011

    " Even though a little sad I loved this book-very heartfelt! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denice | 6/21/2011

    " This feels like more non fiction than fiction. A very good portrayal of grief. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenifer | 5/26/2011

    " Well written and sweet, sad story. I did not like how the narrative voice kept switching characters - seems disjointed and distracting. But overall, a worthwhile quick read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liza | 5/15/2011

    " Can't miss this one. This book is destined for greatness! "

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About the Author
Author Laura HarringtonLaura Harrington is an award-winning playwright, lyricist, and librettist. She teaches playwriting at MIT and lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts. This is her first novel.
About the Narrator

Kate Rudd, actress and award-winning narrator,was born and raised in Michigan. As an actress she has appeared in several independent films and shorts, as well as in multiple episodes of the television show Perks. As an audiobook narrator she was a finalist for the 2013 Audie Award for The Fault in Our Stars. She is also a member of the multinarrator productions for October Mourning and Wonder, which were also 2013 finalists for Audie Awards. She has won seven AudioFile Earphones Awards.