Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: Morning Glory

**Giveaway is now closed**

New York Times bestselling author Sarah Jio imagines life on Boat Street, a floating community on Seattle’s Lake Union—home to people of artistic spirit who for decades protect the dark secret of one startling night in 1959.

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.
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Melissa Amster:

Like with Sarah Jio's other books, Morning Glory also has a Cold Case feel to it. I could see the detectives asking people questions and then having them flash back to 1959 while Frank Sinatra music is playing in the background and everyone is dressed like they're on the set of Mad Men. Up until I read this novel, Blackberry Winter held first place on my list of Sarah Jio favorites. Morning Glory has managed to nudge it into second place, even though I didn't cry like I was expecting to, given the subject matter. I feel like I was preparing for the build-up so that I could handle whatever came my way, as awful as the circumstances may be.

Sarah Jio once again does an excellent job of setting scenes with vivid descriptions that make the people and places easy to picture in my mind. While some parts of the story tied together a little too neatly, she still managed to toss in some surprises to keep me on my toes. I don't know how I'll be able to wait until the summer for her next novel, Goodnight June! (Notice the time of day shift here?)

And, of course, if I were to choose a movie cast (or people to feature on an episode of Cold Case, should it ever be revived), this is who I'd pick for some of the roles:

Ada: Eliza Dushku
Penny: Carey Mulligan
Alex: James McAvoy
Collin: Joseph Gordon Levitt

Amy Bromberg:

I must say straight off the bat that I am a huge Sarah Jio fan. The minute I read her debut, The Violets of March, I knew I was going to be a fan for life. I’ve been excited about Morning Glory since Sarah first started posting pictures of her houseboat on Facebook. I’m a huge water person (hey, I’m a Pisces) so I had a hunch that I was going to enjoy it. Well surprise, surprise…Sarah has hit it out of the park once again.

Sarah Jio is an amazing storyteller. She has an exceptional way of writing novels where there are two stories blended together; one being in the past and the other being the present. The present is where we meet Ada, and Penny’s story takes place in 1959. Both women have lived in the same houseboat, but years apart. I can imagine myself finding solace and tranquility from living on the water. I’m always in a state of bliss when I’m vacationing anywhere that’s near a body of water, preferably oceanfront.“The lake is glorious today, sparking and smooth as glass. The canoe glides through the water effortlessly, like a knife through water.” While I was reading this vivid description, it felt like I could actually see and feel the water.

As always Sarah develops and writes her characters with such eloquent description. I was able to feel Ada’s and Penny’s roller coaster of emotions throughout the story. I wanted to hug them when they were experiencing both sorrow and joy.

I can’t say how much I recommend this book. I’m not a mystery person, but Sarah’s blend of mystery and romance always grabs my heart and attention to the point where I just can’t put it down. Here’s an interview with Sarah when she was at Book Expo America (where I met her!!!!!!) discussing both Morning Glory and The Last Camellia, her book that came out in May.

Thanks to Plume for the book in exchange for an honest review. They also have FIVE copies of Morning Glory for some lucky US readers!

How to win:
Please tell us...What is your favorite thing about the morning? (Even if you're not a morning person.)

One entry per person.

Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact info will NOT be counted.

US only. Giveaway ends December 9th at midnight EST.

More by Sarah Jio:

50 comments:

Ally said...

I love how excited my kids are to see me when they wake up.

Ro said...

Love mornings when I have no where I have to be. A cup of tea the morning paper..... Or a good book. Puts me in a great mood for the rest of the day.

Allie Smith said...

Coffee~

allieDOTmcsmithATgmailDOTcom

kwaskewich said...

The smell of coffee mmmm

karen.waskewich@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

My favorite thing about morning is having the whole day ahead of me to get things done!

readinguntilproveninnocent(at)gmail(dot)com

susieqlaw said...

I love the morning-drink tea, read, etc.

sendsusanmail at gmail dot come

Kritter said...

I love when my german shepherd curls up in the middle of the hallway while I get ready because he wants to be close!

kdurham2@gmail.com

Margie Durham said...

Looks like another great read!

opesopinions@gmail.com

Bonnie K. said...

My favorite thing about the morning is the start of the new day along with my cup of coffee and going through my emails.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

Lindsay said...

My favorite thing about the morning is a nice warm breakfast, my favorite meal!
Love Sarah Jio's Book!

lindsayDOTcastnerATgmailDOTcom

Lindsay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I love the quiet time because it is just me,my coffee and my book, I can enjoy some free time until the rest of the house wakes up.

rhonda said...

Love the morning getting up whole day ahead breakfast newspapers perfect

JJT said...

Catching up on the newspapers.

Josie Hink said...

Getting the tv to myself after everyone leaves for school and work!!!

josiehink122026 at gmail dot com

julie barrett said...

what i like about morning is being so refreshed ans o full of energy and enough daylight to be able to read from natural light.

Thanks for the chance,
Julie
jbarrett 5 at cox dot net

Janine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janine said...

Morning time is when I sit and relax and check emails and listen to the news. My husband sits here too until it's time for him to go to work, so this is really the only quiet time we have together.

kinini01@hotmail.com

Linda Kish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Kish said...

Enter your zip code hereI love mornings especially on a sunny day. I love a good cup of coffee or two, watching GMA, then out for a walk with my dog. It's nice and quiet where I live so my mornings are peaceful.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Melanie Backus said...

I love going out and greeting my precious four legged friends. They are as glad to see me as I am to see them.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Carl Scott said...

I love to watch the sun come up, and then my dogs greet me with such joy for the brand-new day. Thanks for the great giveaway. carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

Judy in AZ said...

My favorite thing about morning is how excited my dogs are that I'm awake and our morning ritual that includes treats.

judyinazusa@yahoo.com

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rita said...

I am a morning person and get up very early. I love the quiet and watching the sun rise. It is a wonderful time of day.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Jane Cook said...

My favorite part of morning is the quiet - only me and the cats, no people bugging me!

jcsites2002@hotmail.com

S.Sabia said...

My favorite part about mornings is knowing I get to settle down with a cup of coffee after I have sent my two oldest kids off to school.

sfsabiaATgmailDOTcom

Chrissy TheEveryFreeChanceReader said...

Hearing my kids playing in their rooms giving their daddy and I a few extra minutes of sleep. =)

everyfreechance@gmail.com

jodi marinich said...

i am
a morning person so i love the peace and quite til my kids wake up
jmarinich33 at aol dot com

Jennifer Huelsebusch said...

I've heard great things about this book!

Jhuelsebusch@sbcglobal.net

Chanpreet said...

For me the best thing about morning is all the possibilities of the day. I usually wake up before my alarm goes off and will use those moments to relax and get prepared for whatever tasks I have ahead of me.

karenk said...

I love sitting on the porch...sipping coffee...reading...and watching the sun rise

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

My favorite thing about the morning is coffee... I only drink coffee in the mornings so sometimes it is seriously what gets me out of bed!!! LOL.

Oh, and lately I have been reading on the ipad while getting ready because I am reading a book that I just cannot stop thinking about!! Feels ridiculous but it's kinda nice getting a chapter in before heading off to work! :)

missamberljohnson at gmail dot com

Erica said...

Coffee and snuggling under the covers!!

wordywon at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

breakfast

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Tiffany Drew said...

Going back to bed after the kids get off to school :)

jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

Summer Grinstead said...

I love when my sweet baby makes sweet baby noises in the morning. It warms my heart and makes me smile.

sumsum085@aol.com

Hailey Fish said...

My favorite part about the morning is waking up, having a cup of tea or coffee, reading and then watching The Price is Right.

Hailey Fish said...

My favorite part about morning is waking up, having a cup of tea or coffee, reading for a bit and then watching The Price is Right.

fishiegirl22@yahoo.com

Colleen Turner said...

Oh that is easy...coffee!!! I have started having trouble doing anything other than grunting and brushing my teeth before I have my coffee :). Thanks for the giveaway, I love Sarah Jio's books!
candc320@gmail.com

Bridget O'Neill said...

I love just looking at my sweet daughter just before I wake her up-she's so peaceful when she's sleeping :)

Bjoneill@hotmail.com

Jilleen said...

I love mornings. My favorite thingS are kids sleeping, a cup of hot coffee and a book. Ahhhh morning bliss!

Sally said...

My favorite part of the morning, besides coffee, is the clean slate to a new day where (almost) anything can happen :) I adore Sarah's books, I have been looking forward to this one but it just flew to the top of my to-read list since these reviews are so glowing. Can't wait! Thanks for the chance to win. sjl446(at)nyu(dot)edu

Janine said...

On cold mornings (like this morning), I love when I'm checking my messages and FB on my computer and my cat Kiki crawls on my lap and gets under my robe to stay warm. I feel so loved.

kinini01@hotmail.com

Nova said...

Best thing about morning; it is all quiet before anyone gets up, and I can have a minute to say a quiet prayer to myself for us all to have a good day.
sparkle40175 AT hotmail DOT com

Sully said...

Love to see the sunrise in morning. I have to say Florida does have some stunning sunrises and sunsets. I also love snuggling with my two pups when they first wake up. They are so calm and sweet. Their sweet faces always make my day better.

Karen Pacheco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Pacheco said...

Watching animals curry around while sitting on my deck drinking a cup of coffee and reading

Contact me@. kpac1@comcast.net

Melissa said...

Thanks for participating and telling us your favorite thing about morning.

Thanks to Plume for sharing this book with our winners.

Random.org chose FIVE winners from all entries with contact info (one entry per person).

Congrats to:
13-Julie Barrett
14-Janine
16-Melanie Backus
27-Amber @ A Little Pink...
29-bn100