Morning Dark: A Novel

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So no need to change the location, just head straight for the Cheviot Hills in darkest Northumbria, a place I know well, where the clouds lour dismally and it rains — a lot. Blaming the weather and the landscape helps account for the fact that all the inhabitants of the fictional Beckford are in the grip of an existential crisis.

As year-old year old Erin Abbott tell us, "it's a strange place, full of odd people, with a downright bizarre history". Abbott should know — her mother Nel has been writing a book about the local drowning pool in which at least six "troublesome" women have met an untimely death. The first of these was Libby Seeton in who, suspected of being a witch, was subjected to the ordeal by water — the one in which you proved your innocence by drowning. But the drowning that precipitates what is not so much an investigation as an unravelling of all involved is that of Nel herself.

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As in The Girl on the Train , Hawkins' story-telling technique involves multiple points of view. Here, rather than sticking with the first person, she also employs an omniscient narrator. So while some characters speak to us directly albeit guardedly , others are observed from a relative distance as they go about their nefarious business.

There's also a much bigger cast of dramatis personae, rendering Into the Water a book that could usefully do with a who's who since many of the "voices'' are all but indistinguishable. If any character is central, it is Jules, the sister of Nel who, like Rachel in The Girl on the Train , has a "problem".

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Graphic novel: Darkness Outside the Night by Xie Peng

This time it's not alcohol but bulimia, signalling a need to purge her troubled past rather than the three bowls of spag bol she has just bolted down. Jules has been estranged from Nel since they were teenagers living in the Mill House on the river when "something bad" happened for which Jules has always blamed her sister.

The back stories involving Nel and Jules, Detective Inspector Sean Townsend and his wife Helen, and Nel's daughter Lena and her best friend Katie who is the unfortunate sixth woman to drown in the pool constitute only a few of the multiple narrative threads that will lead to the disclosure of how and why Nel, and all the other women, have drowned.

Ada Santorini's story was pleasant enough to read. I felt that it was an accurate depiction of the loss one would experience up I should preface this review by stating that I was counting down the days until it became available. I felt that it was an accurate depiction of the loss one would experience upon losing their family. That said, I wasn't sure just how much we really needed to delve into her past memories of her husband and child and there were many times that I wondered why they were sprinkled in such detail throughout the novel.

In any case, it didn't really detract from the overall story, but it didn't add too much to it either. Penny Wentworth, her historical counterpart, was fascinating as all historical counterparts are in these dual timeline stories. I thought her reasoning for view spoiler [ giving up her son hide spoiler ] was a little ridiculous though. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised because Esther from Violets of March who did view spoiler [the exact same thing made a cameo appearance in this novel.

To me, that character will probably go down as one of my most loathed protagonists of books from this genre. Her being motivated to someday reach out to her former great love whose life she destroyed among others was distasteful. To say that I was disappointed in seeing her in Morning Glory would be an understatement.

This novel held my attention for several hours and for that, I'm giving it two stars. I think the story failed in multiple instances view spoiler [from the reveal of who killed Penny, the astonishment that said killer's wife felt when she realized he didn't do it for her happiness but his GASP! En fin, I really don't like to criticize authors whose work I truly do admire and appreciate. While this one fell flat for me, I am a huge Jio enthusiast and marvel at her remarkable ability to ensnare readers into her stories.

I will continue to pre-order her books and fidget impatiently until I see her next novel downloaded onto my Kindle app. Jun 25, Connie rated it liked it Shelves: Her love of the houseboat lifestyle is evident in this story about two women who lived in the same houseboat, Penny in the s and Ada in Ada, a journalist, comes to Seattle to escape from her memories. She is brokenhearted after her husband and daughter die in an accident.

She finds a trunk of Penny's belongings in the houseboat that she is renting. Penny had disappeared without a trace in Sarah Jio 's family rented a houseboat on Lake Union in Seattle when she was writing Morning Glory. Penny had disappeared without a trace in the s. Ada tries to solve the mysteries in Penny's life while she heals emotionally and looks to the future. After reading several of Sarah Jio 's novels written in a similar style, this book seemed a bit predictable.

The author did create characters with emotional challenges--love and loss--that would bring out empathetic feelings in the reader. Fans of women's fiction would probably enjoy spending a few hours in this charming houseboat setting. Apr 17, Joyita rated it it was ok Shelves: After having read every one of Sara Jio's books so far, I'd list this one as a disappointment. Unlike her first three novels which were formulaic but had deep charm and intrigue, I found this one as well as it's immediate predecessor, The Last Camellia unappetizing.

My curiosity wasn't piqued until I had read over a third of the novel. To fit the Sara Jio formula where the parallel protagonists end up being related, Alex had to s After having read every one of Sara Jio's books so far, I'd list this one as a disappointment. To fit the Sara Jio formula where the parallel protagonists end up being related, Alex had to suddenly turn out to be Penny's child. Where did that come from? And why and how would Penny manage a seafaring life of her own and survive without ever popping up on any records anywhere?

And what was the point of killing Collin off so randomly? Until the last chapter, I was only bothered thinking it can't be that easy to make a corpse disappear. If it ended there, I would have given this book 3 stars.


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When I started the last chapter, I was initially relieved to have this looming concern addressed. But the resolution turned out to be so preposterous, that I couldn't help downgrading it to 2 stars!

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Oh I'm so conflicted about this book. I was interested in Ada's story and I was intrigued to read about life on boat street. So far so good, but sadly I really don't like Penny. She had very little to nothing in common with her husband and I wonder why she married him this quickly. Also she had a doubtful taste in men and it felt like she could not make up her mind. I tried to like her but I just couldn't and the epilogue was just the nail in the coffin. However Ada's story was rewarding to read Oh I'm so conflicted about this book.

However Ada's story was rewarding to read and I was really rooting for her to recover a little from her loss though she will probably never do so fully. None the less I was happy with the ending the book had given her. It was very hopeful and sweet: Sep 19, Ceillie Simkiss rated it it was amazing Shelves: Their stories are tied together by their lives, and sorrows, in Houseboat No. Ada Santorini leases Houseboat No. She then discovers a trunk left behind by Penny Wentworth.

Morning Glory was a well-woven mystery and love story. Not everything ends up neatly, but it does have a happy ending of sorts. It put me in mind of the movie, The Lake House, that I haven't seen in years but really enjoyed. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and would definitely give it a 5 out of 5 star rating.

Sep 09, Lisa B. In this story we spend time with Ada and Penny. She rents a houseboat that once belong to Penny. Penny mysteriously disappeared fifty years ago. As Ada works to discover what happened to Penny, her life moves forward. I loved this story. My heart was sad for both Penny and Ada as we learn what events has brought sorrow to their lives.

I liked both ladies and really wanted to see both of them end up happy. This book started out slowly - in a good way. The more I read, the more the suspense built. Whew - what a great read! Many thanks to Scribner, via Edelweiss, fow allowing me to read this inexchange for an unbiased review. Ana xettler eyni olur. View all 3 comments. Just saw this on Amazon while browsing through kindle books!

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I am so so excited! Jun 10, Jaclyn Kendall rated it liked it. Sometimes I feel like authors start novels with interesting characters, a fabulous setting, and a good dose of mystery, then somewhere along the line they realize they have a deadline looming and just start wrapping up plot lines as quickly and cleanly as possible. I am a fan of Sarah Jio, but I feel like the beginnings of her books are always better than the end.

Morning Glory was no different. The ending was lackluster. I wanted something deeper. And I wanted the men to actually talk and behave Sometimes I feel like authors start novels with interesting characters, a fabulous setting, and a good dose of mystery, then somewhere along the line they realize they have a deadline looming and just start wrapping up plot lines as quickly and cleanly as possible. And I wanted the men to actually talk and behave like men, not sensitive saints. However, the detail Jio put in to describing Seattle and the houseboat setting nearly made up for the wimpy men in the story.

All in all, I didn't feel like the book was a waste of time, and I enjoyed the story. But it won't stick with me and I wouldn't recommend it first. Oct 20, Vicki rated it it was amazing. She has the most beautiful writing and you feel every emotion with her books. Morning Glory was no exception. It was suspenseful, moving, heartbreaking, and more. If you have never read a Sarah Jio novel, go now and buy one. They will stay with you long after you've turned the last page. Bunu sadece mutsuzluk yapar. Sep 28, Melissa rated it it was amazing.

Another book I loved by this author! May 10, Kris Patrick rated it liked it. I found my author for hashtag summer at the pool. Morning Glory has that same languid, atmospheric feel, part love story, part mystery and I just adored feeling part of the houseboat community on Lake Union's Boat Street, Seattle.

Dark clouds are rolling in all around, and the rain's intensity increases as we paddle back across the lake, which looks like wrinkled gray velvet. By the time we reach my dock, we're soaked, but somehow, I don't mind. The dual story line and time frame of Ada Santorini present day and Penny Wentworth is connected by houseboat number 7; seamlessly executed and equally captivating. One of my many favourite parts was the heartwarming role Penny's unassuming recipe book played in the story, both for a reader sharing Penny's passion for baking and for Ada.

There's a couple of recipe's included that I'd love to try; Cinnamon Rolls is top of my list. Cinnamon Rolls Dex's Favourite makes 1 dozen Ingredients: Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from stove. Mix in butter, stir until melted. Knead dough until smooth. Let dough rise for about an hour or more. Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and softened butter for filling. Preheat oven to degrees. Punch down dough, then roll out into a 12x9 inch rectangle. Spread filling mixture on dough.

Roll up and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal-size pieces and place in greased 9x12 glass dish. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool, then drizzle with royal icing if desired. You don't get a traditional, neatly-tied-up-with-a-bow ending with Sarah Jio's stories but it's a fitting ending I know I may always ache for the past, for the two greatest loves of my life, but I want to be a bird now. I want to flap my wings through the rainstorms.

I want to start my day with the earnestness of the morning glory, the way it blossoms open with the sunrise, ready to shine no matter what. Another story enticingly revealed a piece at a time until you realise it's all so beautifully and deftly intertwined. May 23, Jenny rated it it was ok. I was drawn to this book in large part due to its setting: Houseboat living in Seattle has long been known for its quirkiness and deeply rooted sense of community; it also carries a diverse history of residents that matches the evolution of Seattle's economy: Sarah Jio captures two different eras of houseboat life in Morning Glory, moving between the Boho whirlwind of the late s and present day.

Ada Santorini is the transplant at the center of Jio's story: While Ada's first order of business is to reconcile with her past and carry on in her present, she also finds herself getting pulled into the history of her dock, particularly the disappearance of Mrs. Penny Wentworth, former resident of Ada's rental. As Ada unravels Penny's story, she finds herself uncovering more about her neighbors on Boat Street-"lifers" who have maintained a code of silence since Penny's sudden disappearance. Morning Glory is told from both Penny and Ada's points-of-view.

While the parellel stories provide an interesting comparison between the pressures, expectations, and judgments placed on married women in the s and now, the story itself stays at a superficial level; both Penny and Ada are more engrossed in the men in their lives than themselves and rarely question or challenge the circumstances they are placed in by virtue of their womanhood. The story is also too neat and tidy for my taste - rather than leave any ambiguity for the reader to ponder, Jio ties up every loose end to the point that even the most generous reader's suspension of disbelief is exhausted.

Since her debut, Sarah Jio has enchanted listeners with her signature brand of romantic suspense. Her previous novel, Blackberry Winter, was an immediate New York Times bestseller - perfectly positioning Morning Glory to reach even greater heights. It is beautifully told, exploring the past to find the satisfying conclusion to the mystery of many years ago. It goes back and forth from the present to the past. Keeping me on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next This was a fast and emotional story.

I didn't want to put the book down until the last page, and than I didn't want it to end, I wanted more I can't wait, Sarah Jio has become one of my top five favorite authors. I liked this book so much I awarded it 5 "Morning Glory" blossoms. This book is part of my Nook and Kindle libraries. I hadn't realized that I had pre-ordered it on both e-readers. Jan 02, Christa rated it liked it Shelves: This was a pleasant read, nothing too thought-provoking, but enjoyable nonetheless.

I liked Sarah Jio's other books because she knows how to tell a good story.

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She doesn't bog her sentences down with the unnecessary--she writes simply and clearly, and I always find myself interested in what's going on within the first couple of pages. Her books are great if you want to relax with a story. Like her other stories, this book takes a mysterious happening from the past and plunks it right into contemp This was a pleasant read, nothing too thought-provoking, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Like her other stories, this book takes a mysterious happening from the past and plunks it right into contemporary day, while the narrator also finds herself dealing with a present personal problem. In this case, the past happening was the disappearance of an unhappy young wife--Penny--from a Seattle-area houseboat in the s. And in the present, a troubled magazine editor, Ada, finds herself in that woman's same boat literally--the actual boat she lived in as she tries to come to terms with a personal tragedy.

Past and present collide as Ada finds a trunk of Penny's old belongings and starts to question what actually went on that night. My problem with this book is just a personal gripe--I'm really not a fan of romances, and I get a little bit miffed when an author has to stick one in a story, which I feel takes away from the actual story. Plus, the first time we're introduced to the love interest, we know for sure what's going to happen.

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In my opinion, it wasn't really necessary. Also, in my opinion, pretend the epilogue doesn't exist--I'd have enjoyed it a lot more if it just ended at the end of chapter No spoilers, but if you do read it, you'll get what I mean.


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  • Jun 07, Cheryl McNeil rated it liked it. Having grown up near Seattle, I knew the setting of this novel — the house boats on Lake Union.


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    It was a pleasure to read Morning Glory, by the native Seattlite, Jio, and to recognize many of the places mentioned. I learned things I was less acquainted with, too, like the cultural strictures that even egalitarian Seattle women lived with in the late 50s, and the art scene. The grief that the main character lives with is something I hope to never be more acquainted with.

    Mostly, this was a pleasa Having grown up near Seattle, I knew the setting of this novel — the house boats on Lake Union. Mostly, this was a pleasant, enjoyable, easy romantic suspense but the mystery does not entail anything gory that switches back and forth between the late 50s and the present, in the exact same location — the houseboats.

    I pretty much gobbled up this book. But I have to warn you: There is real tragedy and unfairness, and real effort to survive and move on. But the lives lived among the houseboats in this novel do end up intimately intertwined through the decades, in ways surprising and too perfect to be truly realistic. Jun 09, Jackie Lane rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is my first Sarah Jio book and I can promise it won't be my last.

    I'm just wondering what took me so long to read Fleeing an East Coast life marred by tragedy, Ada Santorini takes up residence on houseboat number seven on Boat Street. I'm just wondering what took me so long to read her books. I loved everything about this book from the story taking place on a row of houseboats.

    How cool is that! At every turn she meets resistance from the residents of Boat Street. They are closed off and no one will talk about it. She makes friends and enjoys her time on Boat Street, never failing to remember the tragedy that sent her there, but working to get to a better place in her life with the help of those on Boat Street. There are a ton of colorful characters and Jio makes you fall in love with some and makes others the evil villain. This book was such a joy to read with the two plots actually working together. Although I have heard of the author's other titles, this was the first of her books that I have read.

    I found it to be a wonderful story. I enjoyed the connections between the two women who both called the same houseboat home.