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2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas by…
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2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas (edition 2014)

by Marie-Helene Bertino

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3916039,591 (3.57)30
Member:Alexander19
Title:2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas
Authors:Marie-Helene Bertino
Info:Crown (2014), Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

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» See also 30 mentions

English (61)  German (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
I loved the characters, especially Madeleine, a nine-year-old jazz singer, who spends the entire book trying to get someone to hear her sing. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
Wonderfu!l ( )
  ibkennedy | Jul 12, 2018 |
I wanted to love 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas but it fell a bit short for me. I liked it enough to keep reading, though I didn't feel especially moved. The writing was good enough to keep me engaged but the very, very end just lost me.

What I did enjoy was how Bertino was able to connect the many characters together. Not that they were particularly like-able, the three major characters were unconventional and had their own personal stories happening within the pages. You've got a sad but sassy nine year old girl who smokes, sings and curses; a too-nice teacher who has a vulnerable heart and a disheveled bar owner who is on the brink of losing it all. How these characters weave in out out of each other's lives and the interactions with the minor characters on a Christmas Eve, Eve makes for a promising story.

I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy and quick read. The author's style is fun and quirky, definitely worth experiencing.

I received this book from Blogging for Books to review. ( )
  NicholeMers | Aug 10, 2017 |
The story follows a single day in the lives of several characters. Their tales interweave and eventually come to a head at a Jazz club called the Cat's Pajamas at, you guessed it, 2 A.M. One of our characters is Madeleine, a 9 year old who loves Jazz music, wants to sing, and is still missing her newly deceased mother. Her teacher, Sarina is back in her home-town and is surprised to be invited to a dinner party thrown by an old acquaintance. Her old flame Ben is going to be there. Lorca owns the Cat's Pajamas and has managed to violate just about every building code ever and now owes the city a ton of money or risk having his club shut down. His son Alex wants to play guitar on the club's stage.

I listened to this on audio, as narrated by Angela Goethals. She is great at doing all the various voices, but comes across as over-earnest in her narration. Nonetheless, I was totally sucked into the story and each of the characters' need to find love and hope on Christmas Eve Eve. Also, there's this tease throughout the whole book about what happened when Madeleine sang at school about a year ago. The pay-off is surprising and pretty great. 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas is both funny and sweet. I really enjoyed it.
  Jessiqa | Sep 3, 2016 |
Marie-Helene Bertino writes in a very vivid style, just like the way her characters go through life.

Madeleine Altimari has a voice that stops people in their tracks when she belts out jazz tunes. All she wants is a chance to sing in the legendary jazz club, The Cat's Pajamas. The problem is her age - nine-years-old is a bit young to be in a bar.

Sarina Green, recently back in Philly fresh from a divorce. Teaching fifth grade for a living and learning to live alone, wondering if she will meet the right guy again.

Jack Francis Lorca gets hit with a $30,000 bill and the fact that his beloved Cat's Pajamas may have to shutter it's doors if the bill isn't paid.

What events occur to these three people on Christmas Eve Eve that causes their paths to cross? And what is the final outcome that will impact their lives forever? A magical night that weaves its spell around these three people while they are searching for what they hope to find. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Jun 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
One of the crucial events of “2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas” involves singing, and this seems highly appropriate. After all, one of the most basic tasks facing any writer is making the words you’ve written work together; we say this is making them sing, a cliche, but in the case of Marie-Helene Bertino’s novel, the term fits. The story of a lonely 9-year-old girl’s quest to perform at a Philadelphia jazz club on Christmas Eve rolls along much like a piece of music — different story lines wind and unwind like musical themes, and these stories are all threaded together with a consistently energized brio like one of the tunes played at the club giving the book its title. Each sentence, as well, is composed with a poetic ear; no line is wasted. That’s rare.
added by smasler | editSFGate, Max Winter (Nov 19, 2014)
 
Nine-year-old Madeline Altimari stars in this tale of French-braided lives that are snarled inside-out one eventful Christmas Eve Eve. Madeline lives in a roach-infested apartment in Philadelphia with her dad, the former proprietor of a cheese shop before his wife’s death. Though Mr. Altimari was once a loving husband and father, his grief keeps him in bed, where he’s surrounded by old jazz books (his wife was a chanteuse) and pain pills. Now, motherless Madeline is the ward of Philly’s Fishtown neighborhood, where she’s fed by Mrs. Santiago, cafe-owner and recent-widower; nuzzled and licked by irascible pup Pedro; coiffed by the gum-smacking Vince Sherry; and heartlessly expelled by Principal Randles. And in the great tradition of nurturing educators like Roald Dahl’s Miss Honey, Madeline is understood by her teacher, Sarina Greene. With Madeline, Sarina is not afraid to cross boundaries,in the interest of protecting Madeline.
added by smasler | editThe Riveter, Paige Pritchard (Aug 21, 2014)
 
Fifth-grader Madeleine Altimari is pretty much raising herself; her father has retreated into his bedroom in a drug-induced stupor to numb his grief since the death of Madeleine’s mother—a strip-club dancer and free spirit beloved by all who knew her. Madeleine is lonely, precocious and sassy, her tough exterior hiding her own heartache. Mrs. Santiago, the warmhearted widow who runs the neighborhood cafe, provides breakfast, lunch and grandmotherly affection, but Madeleine has no friends at her Catholic elementary school. Her solace is singing—she’s a natural who yearns to be a jazz singer. Madeleine’s day begins badly when Principal Randles, who resented Madeleine’s mother even when they were kids, first deprives Madeleine of a solo at the school’s morning Mass and later unfairly expels her.
added by smasler | editKirkus Reivews (Jun 14, 2014)
 

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Goethals, AngelaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Yes, [Philadelphia is] horrible, but in a very interesting way. There were places there that had been allowed to decay, where there was so much fear and crime that just for a moment there was an opening to another world."
-- David Lynch
Dedication
Mom,

You said, some invest in prizefighters, I'll invest in you. It was one of those gray nights when (everyone took the easy way out) I did not feel strong. This book is for you (Helene Bertino), for turning me into a prizefighter, with grace.
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It is dark, dark seven A.M. on Christmas Eve Eve.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804140235, Hardcover)

A sparkling, enchanting and staggeringly original debut novel about one day in the lives of three unforgettable characters 
 
Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, precocious nine-year-old and an aspiring jazz singer. As she mourns the recent death of her mother, she doesn’t realize that on Christmas Eve 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 AM AT THE CAT'S PAJAMAS will capture your heart and have you laughing out loud.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:14 -0400)

"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" --… (more)

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