By Laura Harrington
Alice Bliss is a teen-aged girl. She is also a “Daddy’s Girl”. When her Reservist father is shipped out to Iraq, she is heartbroken. Finding one of his shirts in the clothes hamper and begins to wear it, much to the dismay of her mother and embarrassment of her sister.
In her grief, she searches for a ways to fill the void he leaves behind. Alice joins the track team, much to her own surprise. Growing into a young woman in her father’s absence, she also attends her first dance, and falls in love. She is doing all of this without her father. Letters and phone calls are not ever enough, and his scent on the shirt is fading. It is hard for Alice to be strong for herself, much less for her mother and sister. They are dealing with his absence in their own ways.
Laura Harrington has written a coming of age story that is important for our time, with today’s harsh reality of war and loss. She gives us a glimpse of people who are living through things that we all do, in a time that is especially difficult. Yet she offers hope through characters we can relate to.
Love is the ultimate healer, in its many forms. Alice Bliss and Laura Harrington remind us of this in a very warm and poignant book.