- Morning Glory, Sarah Jio
- 304 pages
- women’s fiction/ dual time
- release date: December 2013
Blurb from GoodReads: Fleeing an East Coast life marred by tragedy, Ada Santorini takes up residence on houseboat number seven on Boat Street. She discovers a trunk left behind by Penny Wentworth, a young newlywed who lived on the boat half a century earlier. Ada longs to know her predecessor’s fate, but little suspects that Penny’s mysterious past and her own clouded future are destined to converge.
I am in a serious reading slump. It is a bad one. For months now I have not been enjoying what I am reading. There have been a few exceptions, but for the most part, the books have really dragged for me lately and I have given up on some. Unlike other slumps, this time I am pushing through. So when this book showed up on my doorstep, I put my other books on the back burner and jumped right in. There is nothing like a great book from a favorite author help lift the spirits.
This book starts with poor Ada, who has survived a tragedy involving her husband and daughter. You get the idea early on what happened, but the details come out as Ada’s story evolves. I was able to learn a lot about Ada this way, and it really added to the “characters” of Ella and James.
Ada is renting a house boat that used to belong to Penny, who went missing 50 years earlier. Penny’s story is bittersweet, and sets the stage for future events. When Ada finds a box of Penny’s belongings, she decides to find out what really happened all those years ago. All of the neighbors are pretty tight lipped about it, so Ada joins forces with Alex, who lives in the next houseboat. As Ada and Alex discover more about Penny, they also learn more about themselves
As in Ms. Jio’s other books, this is a dual story line novel. She does this so well; she should teach a class. Clear division between the two plots, and you always know who is telling the story. Plus she goes back and forth logically, so there is no jumping around. The characters were developed well. Many of them appear in both plots, and readers were able to see how the events of the past affected the characters of the present. She even threw in a few of Penny’s special recipes, which I plan to try soon.
Her descriptions of the lake were wonderful. I love Seattle. It is my favorite place in the US, but I have never been interested in sailing or the houseboat lifestyle. I am now. I could vividly picture the homes and love the idea of being able to sail away from my own back deck. I enjoyed reading about the Space Needle also.
I enjoyed this book. It was a quick and easy read. Ms. Jio really brought all the characters together. There were coincidences that made for a heartwarming story. I won’t say that there were any huge twists or revelations (at least not for me), but that is okay. Even though I could see what was coming, I still enjoyed every minute I was with this novel.
FYI, there was some religion in this, which surprised me. I wouldn’t label it Christian Fiction at all, but what was there did seem to stand out. It didn’t bother me, but I thought I would put that out there for others.
Thank you to Library Thing for giving me the opportunity to read and review this novel.