Whimsical, magical, and above all else musical, 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas is composed like a love song about life itself, with a blissfully infectious melody and a beat you can’t help but dance to. Debut novelist Marie-Helene Bertino writes with tender warmth, playful wit, and profound wisdom. In a world that is becoming increasingly fixated on cynicism and darkness, she dares to be open, sincere, and optimistic. Her voice is a breath of fresh air, soulful and emotional, singing sparkling notes of hope and passion. Her writing style is colorful and lively. Her characters are charming and lovable. The story is disarmingly beautiful and deeply moving. In every way, this book is a rare and wonderful treasure, an absolute delight to read. It left me feeling renewed, refreshed, and utterly alive. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.— JASON'S STAFF PICKS
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.