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Book Review: Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington

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Alice Bliss is a smart 15-year-old who sees her life turned upside down when her beloved father Matt, a member of the US reservist army, is sent away to fight in Iraq.

Alice, her mother Angie and her little sister Ellie try to cope with only being able to speak to Matt through crackly phone calls and long letters. But when he goes missing in action everything starts to fall apart and the family have to face up to the inevitable. If it sounds like a bit of an emotional heavyweight, it should.

Stand by for tear-jerking flashbacks and, at one point, some distant echoes of Cecelia Ahern’s PS I Love You. Harrington’s playwright roots and heavy use of dialogue making the characters authentic. The emotionally taut conversations between Alice and her mother are particularly well executed.

Alice Bliss is out in paperback on 15 July (£12.99, Picador). Read more book reviews and features in our Books section.

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