By: Sarah Jio
Ada Santorini is leaving New York, her job, and the heart-aching memories. She's hoping to find some peace in a houseboat in Seattle. While there, she learns of a previous owner to the boat she rents: Penny Winchestor. While letting go of her own past, Ada learns of Penny's and the mystery none of the fellow tenants will discuss. Just what happened on Boat Street all those years ago?
We at Miss Book Lovers have long felt Sarah Jio cannot write a bad book. After finishing Morning Glory, our opinion is only proven more. Despite a slower start than her past books had, Sarah Jio has written yet another book that captivates you and pulls you in. Another masterpiece that you can't tear yourself away from.
Ada is a woman who has suffered a devastating, heartbreaking loss. Everywhere she turns, memories of what she once had surround her. Grief has swallowed her up since the tragedy 2 years prior. While she's been able to find some distraction in her career, more and more lately she just wants to leave New York City. When her therapist gives her a number for a houseboat in Seattle, Washington available for rent, Ada doesn't waste much time.
It doesn't take long for the Lake Union houseboat community to welcome her- and hint at the mystery surrounding her particular houseboat. Eventually, Ada finds a key that opens the big trunk in the living room. Old remnants from a previous owner's life has been stored away. But what happened to the woman in the picture, and why won't anyone talk about it?
Penny Landry hasn't even graduated from her finishing school, when her path crosses that of Dexter Wentworth. The famous artist is 20 years old, and very taken with the young Penny. After several months, the pair get married. Penny Wentworth is not at all prepared for the life ahead of her. Dexter is a moody, depressed artist who leaves her alone more often than he's with her.
Penny builds a friendship with the handsome neighbor, boat craftsman, Collin. Before long the two fall in love and embark on an affair that will forever change their lives. Collin convinces Penny to run away with him, leaving Dexter behind. However, something goes wrong on the night they are meant to leave. Collin's past comes back for him and Penny's future is anything but certain. Before the night is over, someone disappears and someone else is deemed dead.
In classic Sarah Jio talent, you get to read how each story unfolds. You see the vulnerability to Ada as she tiptoes her way back into life. You marvel at the ease she feels with neighbor Alex. Debbie and I loved everything about this man who was more respectful than most would be. He was open about his past and delicate with helping Ada through hers. We cheered at the budding romance and feared Ada would be too afraid to embrace it.
We both disliked Dexter, until it was too late. Throughout his marriage, he was too wrapped up in his own life and career to appreciate the wife who built her life around him. Far too often, he cheated on her and gave Penny multiple reasons to leave. We felt he gave Collin every opportunity to sweep Penny off her feet. However, once tragedy struck, and the damage had been done, he did a 180. He finally understood the gem he had. Unfortunately, it was too late to do anything about it.
We wouldn't be true fans of Sarah Jio if we didn't notice a couple of distinct differences between Morning Glory and her previous books. This book had religious tones in it. Alex's character tells Ada how church got him through his past, and Ada admits to her at God for dealing her the hand he did. He helps her find peace with God, and even attends services with him. Neither of us remembers any other book where Sarah involved, but we loved it!
The other difference we noticed was the inclusion of recipes. Both of us are determined to try them, so we'll let you know how they turn out.
Once again, Sarah Jio delivers a book well worth it's asking price. While this one did have a slower start, once you got into it, you didn't want to put it down. You almost needed the slower start to brace you for the onslaught of story that awaited you the further into the book you got.
We hope you love the book as much as we did!