Taking place over the span of 24 hours, this inventive novel follows a rotating cast of raucous characters through the snowy streets of Philadelphia. The book centers around Madeline Altamari, an aspiring jazz singer who is nine years old. Left to her own devices after the sudden death of her mother nearly a year ago incapacitates her father, Madeline is smart mouthed, grieving and about to have the adventure of her lifetime on Christmas Eve Eve.
Add Madeline's principal who has it out for her because she is her mama's daughter; her favorite teacher Miss Sarina Green, recently returned to Philly after a divorce; and the owner of the Cat's Pajamas, Lorca, who is facing the club's imminent demise along with several other colorful characters and you have a highly entertaining whirlwind of a novel with a healthy dash of magical realism rounding out the entire affair. It's a small book, and though it can easily be devoured in one sitting it will remain with the reader long after the last, powerful line. A recommended read for music lovers, prose lovers, and really just about anyone with a sense of humor and wonder.