Title: 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas
Author: Marie-Helene Bertino
Published: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Broadway Books
Publisher’s Website: link
Madeleine Altimari is a precocious young girl who aspires to be a jazz singer, inspired by her late mother who was also a performer. The death of her mother is still fresh, and her father is still coming to terms with it himself. Sarina Greene is Madeleine’s teacher, fresh off a divorce and preparing to attend a dinner with her old high school circle of friends (including her former crush and prom date). And the owner of The Cat’s Pajamas, Lorca, recently broke up with his girlfriend, is struggling to keep a connection with his son, and has just learned he may be forced to close down his club forever. The lives of these three people (and a large cast of supporting characters) intertwine in some very unexpected ways during the span of 24 hours on the day before Christmas Eve. Madeleine searches for the place where her voice can be heard. Sarina is wrestling with whether to reignite an old flame. And Lorca wants stability and opportunity for his son. Will any of them be able to find what they are looking for?
This story is broken down into timestamped snippets that jump around from character to character. It’s an interesting method of storytelling, but I did find it to be confusing at times to know what was going on (there are flashbacks thrown in that aren’t clearly indicated, as well). The side characters definitely add to the story, but the few scenes that solely focus on them with no connection back to one of the main characters also left me a bit puzzled at times. Overall, I did find this book to be engaging and entertaining, but part of me was left scratching my head at the end to really understand the point of it all. Perhaps that’s what happens with a day-in-the-life/slice-of-life novel. I ended up giving this three stars because of quality of the overall story balanced with the less-than-stellar execution.[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.]