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Little Willow [userpic]

Alive and Well in Prague, New York by Daphne Grab

June 3rd, 2008 (07:23 pm)
thirsty

Current Mood: thirsty
Current Song: L&O: CI theme song

How do you miss a person who is still there with you?

When Matisse moves from New York City to the small town of Prague, New York, she feels like a city mouse forced into the life of a country mouse. She misses the sights and sounds of the metropolis, especially after she is chased by a crazy goose and woken by a rooster. Most of all, she misses her father. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease six years ago, and his severe decline in the past year prompted his family move. Theoretically, a change of scenery could be good for them, but the family barely speaks about his disease. Matisse is embarrassed and uncomfortable when her new neighbor mistakes her parents for her grandparents, and she is determined to keep her father's condition a secret from her classmates. She'd rather ignore the emails and phone calls from her concerned life-long best friend and make new friends who don't know what's going on at home. Instead, these interesting acquaintances - tell-it-like-it-is Violet, ultra-popular Marco, "rebel without a cause" activist Dylan, and hopeful young farmer Hal - surprise her with their reactions to her home life.

As the child of artists - her mother is a painter and her father a sculptor - Matisse is named accordingly. Because of that, I kept wishing that she would discover an artistic talent and express herself on canvas or on paper somehow. A physical manifestation of her emotions would have been a great climax. Without spoiling the book's conclusion, I'll say that I wouldn't mind seeing another book with Matisse as she comes to term with her father's illness and reconnects with her parents and maybe even with her old friend Cesse, all the while growing more into the person she will become.

Alive and Well in Prague, New York is the author's debut novel.

Read my interview with Daphne Grab.

Comments

Posted by: Heidi R. Kling, Author of SEA, June 10, 2010 (seaheidi)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)

i didn't realize it was already out!
i like your review, and the suggestion for a sequel. daphne may be happy to oblige!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)

It will be out in June (late May). :)

Posted by: Heidi R. Kling, Author of SEA, June 10, 2010 (seaheidi)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)

i thought so...

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)

:)

Posted by: mimagirl (mimagirl)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 04:58 am (UTC)
fashion

I am supposedly getting a copy of this from the publisher. I can't wait. :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 05:07 am (UTC)

Enjoy!

Posted by: barrieinca (barrieinca)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)

I'm dying to read this book! I already have it on pre-order. I love the premise where a change in setting forces a change in the protagonist. New friends, family tension--can't wait! :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)

Enjoy!

I just so happen to be reading another book about a family moving right now: The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Aimee Friedman.

Posted by: nancy_v (nancy_v)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)

A book that leaves you wanting more is my kind of book! Can't wait to read it. C'mon JUNE!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)

Don't make the year fly by TOO quickly now! ;)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)

I love the premise that Matisse's experiences with people outside the family help her to discover that her father is still there, despite his illness. That's an important point for those dealing with Parkinson's or similiar conditions.

Ellen Booraem

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)

Agreed.

I also love seeing the Class of 2k8 members supporting each other!

Posted by: lizgallagher (lizgallagher)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC)

Then let me add my woo, 2k8!

I'm so looking forward to meeting Matisse for myself! :) Can't wait.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)

Hi Liz! One of my customers told me she checked Opposite out of the library recently. Hurrah!

Posted by: debbierfischer (debbierfischer)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)

I love this book. I could totally relate to the mixed bag of emotions and struggles with being a new kid in a strange place. Whether it's trying to hang on to the friend you left behind, trying to fit in at your new school, or trying to hide the family you're both ashamed and proud of, Daphne nails it. I, too, would love to see more of Matisse. :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 6th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)

:)

Posted by: Jocelyn Pearce aka Teen Book Reviewer (teenbookreview)
Posted at: February 7th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)

This looks like a book I'll really like. I can't wait to read it.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 7th, 2008 01:49 am (UTC)

:)

Posted by: Lisa Schroeder, Author for Kids and Teens (lisa_schroeder)
Posted at: February 7th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC)

The crazy goose and rooster part made me smile.

Can't wait to read this book! :) Yay Daphne!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 7th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)

Secretly, I wanted her to befriend that goose. It's the Pied Piper in me. I love critters.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: March 13th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
Im New

Hello All
Im New...

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