Book Review: 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

18815488The 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.

Review by Jessica A.

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