The beautiful and heart-warming story of Felix Ward growing up in the sixties, when things seemed simpler, adventure was always around the corner and kissing Gisela Miranda seemed to most important thing in the world.
This is everybody’s coming of age story but also uniquely mine of growing up in a crumbling 600-year old Swiss hotel run by my family with the help of a bunch of wacky relatives and helpers that barely managed to keep the old place going. I meant to write this story in middle grade. It took me fifty years to finally find the voice I thought I had at thirteen.
Felix Ward’s parents take up the lease of a hotel in a small lakeside town. The hotel has a great hall with a stage and it soon becomes the meeting place for all the kids in the neighbourhood. As a fundraiser for a school camp they put on an epic stage play, starring everybody plus Luke’s pet crow.
Felix hopes to see Gisela in the audience but nobody from the hill shows up. The hill kids don’t mix much with the lake kids. There is conflict brewing between the two sides. Felix needs a lot of help from his alter ego, the Lionheart, to finally get Gisela’s attention with a very public kiss in the school yard. It gets them into trouble from all sides.
To Kiss the Girls is a deliciously rich read filled with the nostalgia of youth carried by a truly authentic voice. Marsh delivers warm and soft chuckles throughout. Nothing is overwrought in this tightly and intricately written book. Literary Picks