Madeleine is a jazz singer, has an impressive command of profane language, is recently motherless, and is nine years old. Her neighbors care for her, but that doesn’t fill the vacancy left by her mother and her grieving, reclusive father. Her teacher, Miss Greene, is going to a dinner party where she’ll be reunited with high school friends and her prom date. Max Lorca, the owner of the Cat’s Pajamas, a famous jazz club, is trying to come up with cash to cover fines for a long list of violations. These and other characters move on their improvised and syncopated paths toward the early morning. 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas is a colorful novel that shimmies, hits the blue notes and swings.— Lyn
An enchanting novel about one day in the lives of three unforgettable characters as they search for love, music, and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia
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. Together, Madeleine, Sarina, and Lorca 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.
About the Author
Marie Helene-Bertino is the author of Safe as Houses, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Prize. An Emerging Writer Fellow at New York's Center for Fiction, she has spent six years as an editor and writing instructor at One Story. A Philadelphia native, she currently lives in Brooklyn.