All the Blue Moons
at the Wallace Hotel
The New York Times
February 11, 2001
her first novel, All the Blue Moons at the Wallace
Hotel, Phoebe Stone, a children's picture author and
illustrator, tells the haunting tale of a child's
struggle with a death in the family.
Hopper struggles with the memory of a murdered father.
More loss follows as Fiona's artist mother withdraws and
neglects both her daughters and her art. Tightly bonded
with Wallace, her eccentric younger sister, Fiona feels
completely abandoned when Wallace runs away and remains
inconsolable until her return. While Fiona viscerally
understands Wallace's grief over their father's death and
her desire for normality, acceptance and a happier family
life, she seeks another solution to the pain of her past
and the confusion of prepubescent life. That solution is
Frustrated because she
cannot afford lessons, Fiona remains undeterred and
religiously practices the steps a dancer friend shows her
in the empty ballroom of their dilapidated
Fiona's fervent wish
to dance in an upcoming Christmas recital is granted
unexpectedly by a prestigious local dance teacher, who
catches sight of Fiona dancing and deems her a natural
talent. Ultimately, passion and dedication are rewarded
and personal loss assuaged through the fulfillment of
Stone's prose is
poetic, yet grounded in realistic adolescent language.
Adroit handling of preadolescent angst against a backdrop
of family tragedy and gradual renewal.
Review of Wallace Hotel