Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Morning Glory by Sarah Jio

This story reminds me of the TV show Cold Case. It's not just a time slip chronicling two separate stories in two different eras. It's a mystery and as the modern-day heroine digs for answers, the past subtly unfolds, the overlap growing blurry. At times I could visualize the fifties' people standing there looking on, watching from the sidelines as their past was put together and the mystery solved.

As always, Ms. Jio impresses me with her writing skills. She's one of the best. Even when I don't care for the actions of some of her characters, I find myself utterly immersed, dying to know what happens  next.

In the fifities, a woman went missing from her houseboat one night, leaving behind an artist husband, a little neighbor boy who adored her, a boat-maker who wanted her, and a community of people intent on hiding the truth. Did she just sail away? Did someone kill her?

The modern-day heroine becomes obsessed with finding out as she resides on the missing woman's former houseboat, recovering from a great loss. The past story is about how you can't play games without others, and possibly yourself. The past heroine messes with people's hearts, can't make up her mind who she wants to be with. The modern-day heroine's story has a theme of moving on, of learning to live with grief.

I didn't like Penny, the past heroine. I saw a woman playing games, weak. I like strength in a woman and by strength, I totally realize it doesn't mean wielding a sword or whatever, but strength comes in many forms and this woman had next to none. Her actions were not strong, but selfish. She wanted to bounce man to man, to whomever it was convenient to be with at that moment. She lived in a shadow of another man, was a submissive wallflower. The conclusion in the end, even that was selfish. What she allows people to believe...someone will pay for that, just not her.

But I have to admit, despite my dislike of one of the heroine, I was very intrigued by the mystery. It takes a talented writer to keep me interested when I so blatantly dislike its heroine. Now, Ada, the modern-day woman, was strong. I appreciated the theme of overcoming grief without dishonoring the deceaseds' memories.

Once again, Jio delivers a great story.

I received this via LibraryThing.






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