Finished March 20
Morning Glory by Sarah Jio
This novel moves back and forth between two women, one in present day and one in the 1950s. As the book begins Ada Santorini has chosen to leave New York City as a way to deal with her ongoing grief over the loss of her husband and daughter. She has rented a houseboat in Seattle for the summer and hopes to be able to find a way to move on with her life.
In the 1950s, Penny Wentworth has found that her new marriage is vastly different than she thought it would be. Her new husband Dexter, an artist, is away for long periods of time and yet doesn't want her to find her own occupation. She is bored and lonely, with the other wives in the houseboats around her older and accomplished in their own right. She is sympathetic to young Jimmy, whose parents seem to ignore him or dismiss his interests. As she begins to feel more abandoned, she dreams of a different life, with someone who really cares about what she wants.
When Ada finds a trunk containing Penny's belongings, she grows interested in the secrets surrounding this woman, and begins to ask questions that were buried for years.
This is a story of loss and grief, of moving forward despite those, of finding a life that means something and that speaks to your true self.
It is a story of expectations and miscommunication. It is a story of hope.
I enjoyed this read.