This book is so gorgeous. It’s been a long time since fairly simple prose and evoked such a complex story. Right away I was drawn it the character of Madeleine – a nine-year-old girl whose mother has died and whose father has completely checked out. Madeleine has the qualities of great children in literature, the toughness and headstrong nature of an Anne Shirley or a Harriet M. Welsch, with this added layer of having the drive to a jazz singer. She’s classic in her underdog standing but so layered and unapologetic in her depth. She is Jane Eyre before she grew up and got super irritating. Following the arc of a single day in the life of all of these characters is actually an interesting twist on the novel format. It pushes the minutia of the story to be so significant and to take up so much space in the narrative. The end result is a beautiful book with multifaceted plot revolving around the crux that is the Cat’s Pajama’s Club. Part club, part public nuisance, part halfway house, the Cat’s Pajamas seems to fit into the Philadephia setting so completely that I could see it so clearly wedged among old warehouses and run down apartment buildings.
This book was so witty and shines in the overcrowded sea of 2014 novels.
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I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.