Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com
Matisse Osgood is the daughter of two well-known New York City artists. Life is good for Matisse. She's a city girl through and through. Then her father gets diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, and is told that he should avoid working on the sculptures that he loves, for fear that he may fall off of a ladder at some point.
After much consideration, Matisse's parents decide that the best thing for the family is to get out of the city. To remove all reminders of what her father can't have anymore. So off they move to Prague, New York. Yes, it's named after the famous European city. The only problem is that Prague, NY, is nothing like its namesake. Hayrides and pep rallies are the excitement Matisse can expect in her new town.
It takes a while, but finally Matisse finds a friend in loner Violet. They have similar tastes and personalities, and the friendship forms quickly. Other quirky characters in Prague enter Matisse's life. At first, she has a hard time letting anyone in.
Matisse is dealing with her own grief and guilt over her father's diagnosis. Life at home is hard and Matisse has always been reserved when it comes to dealing with private issues.
Through the help of her new friends, her father's acceptance of his diagnosis, and the quaint setting of Prague, NY, Matisse slowly opens up and becomes a better person in her new surroundings.
Ms. Grab writes a tender story of a girl's struggle to accept the life she's had thrust upon her. Matisse's life is thrown upside down with the move and her father's illness, and slowly she learns that there are some things she can control, and others that she has to learn to accept and live with.