All the Blue Moons at the Wallace Hotel

The New York Times Book Review
February 11, 2001

"In 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.

Eleven-year-old Fiona 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 dance.

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 mansion.

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 potential.

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.

Boston Globe Review of Wallace Hotel

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All the Blue Moons at the Wallace Hotel
Copyright © 2000 by Phoebe Stone