Thursday, January 15, 2015

2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas

by Marie-Helene Bertino

I really wanted to love this novel. But I didn’t.

In a nutshell, there are three stories being told and three main characters:

• Madeleine Altimari: a foul-mouthed 9-year-old, whose mother died last year. All this kid wants to do is sing,
• Sarina Greene: Madeleine’s 5th grade teacher. She moved back to Philly after her divorce and has just run into her old flame, Ben, and
• Lorca: the owner of The Cat’s Pajamas, a jazz club. Unless he can come up with thirty grand, his club will close forever.

All three characters and their storylines converge at 2 a.m. at The Cat’s Pajamas.

I loved Madeleine and Sarina, but just could not get into Lorca and his jazz club. Boring. Madeleine and Sarina are charming and sympathetic characters, but they’re not the whole story. Unfortunately. Perhaps both characters would be better served in a collection of short stories.


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