Monday, November 25, 2013

review: morning glory by sarah jio

Set in the Lake Union houseboat community, Sarah Jio's Morning Glory tells the story of two women who each lived on the same houseboat decades apart. After a tragic accident took the lives of Ada’s husband and young daughter, she leaves New York and rents the houseboat from which Penny mysteriously disappeared. While grieving, Ada gets to know her neighbors who seem to know more about Penny than they let on with some of them referencing "a pact." Although Ada's left her journalism job, she becomes wrapped up in solving the mystery of Penny whose trunk she finds in the houseboat. With the help of an attractive war photojournalist turned food photographer, Ada discovers the secrets of Boat Street in Jio’s gripping novel.

Although Jio is native to the Puget Sound region, hands-on research went into the writing of Morning Glory. Jio makes Boat Street come alive through the incorporation of her own experiences staying on a rented houseboat as she wrote Morning Glory. In an interview with Book Bliss during BookExpo America, Jio said the time on the houseboat "informed the writing of the book" and it shows in her vivid descriptions. She writes beautifully of a loft bedroom with a porthole (through which access to the home can be gained--an important detail for the plot) which mimics that of the houseboat she used as an office. And Gracie, the young daughter of Ada’s love interest, is made to wear a life jacket while on the houseboat just as Jio posted on her blog that she made her three sons do. As always, Jio expertly blends mystery and romance with a bit of history to create a compelling story.
5/5
Review copy provided by the publisher, Plume.

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