An enchanting and staggeringly original debut novel about one day in the lives of three unforgettable characters
Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, rebellious nine-year-old who also happens to be an aspiring jazz singer. Still mourning the recent death of her mother, and caring for her grief-stricken father, she doesn't realize that on the eve of Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day - and night - of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia's legendary jazz club The Cat's Pajamas, where she's determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher, Sarina Greene, who's just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat's Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it.
As these three lost souls search for love, music and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia, together they will discover life's endless possibilities over the course of one magical night. A vivacious, charming and moving debut, 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas will capture your heart and have you laughing out loud.
Editors Select, August 2014 - This quirky debut novel by Marie-Helene Bertino is just the right mix of despair and optimism. Set in downtown Philadelphia, the story unfolds the morning of Christmas Eve Eve and follows the interconnected lives of three charming but flawed characters over the next 24-hours. There’s Madeleine, a smart-mouthed and talented nine-year-old who recently lost her mother; Sarina, her newly divorced fifth grade teacher; and Lorca, the forlorn owner of the once legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas. The events of the day gradually weave the characters closer together until they finally intersect during one unforgettable late night rendezvous at the city’s #2 jazz club. 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas packs both heart and punches and is sure to delight readers and book clubs alike. Regina, Audible Editor
"2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas won me over heart and soul. With Madeleine Altimari, a nine year old aspiring jazz singer with a wonderful talent for cursing, Bertino has created one of the most winning and wonderful characters I've met in a long time. Read this book to see a debut author doing something really special, crafting a story where human kindness meets up with an inhospitable world and real magic happens in the aftermath." (Kevin Wilson, New York Times best-selling author of The Family Fang)
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An Enchanting Original
Give the Narrator Some Time
2 AM at The Cat's Pajamas is one of my favorite audiobooks so far.
When Madeleine tells off the principal. I love that little girl. Kudos to the author for writing a child who is complex, lovable and hilarious. We can pretend that children are innocent little cherubs, but the majority of them are not.
In the beginning, I found Goethal's performance to be a little heavy handed-- she's very dramatic. However, as I got to know the characters, I began to enjoy her style and equate her voice with Serena's character. Goethal's style is particularly suited for the more poetic passages in the book, which I really enjoyed.
When Lorca struggles with the spectrum of his emotions as he listens to his son perform.
I generally listen to audiobooks during my commute. The exceptional ones find me sitting in my car in the driveway, unable to turn them off. This one made it to the kitchen table, the garage, the bathroom, etc. I only wish it hadn't ended so fast.
- Meg F.