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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2010
Marnie didnt know much about miracles.
Mistakes maybe. Accidents. And monstrous mess-ups. She knew a lot about those.
But miracles? Those were for other people.
Marnie Wittier has life just where she wants it. Quiet. Peaceful. No drama. A long way away from her past. In the privacy of her home, she fills a box with slips of paper, scribbled with her regrets, sins, and sorrows. But thats nobody elses business. Her bookstore/coffee shop patrons, her employees, her friends from churchthey all think shes the very model of compassion and kindness.
Then Marnies past creeps into her present when her estranged sister dies and makes Marnie guardian of her fifteen-year-old sona boy Marnie never knew existed. And when Emmit arrives, she discovers he has Down syndromeand that shes woefully unprepared to care for him. Whats worse, she has to deal with Taylor Cole, her sisters attorney, a man Marnie once lovedand abandoned.
As Emmit (and Taylor) work their way into her heart, Marnie begins to heal. But when pieces of her dismal past surface again, she must at last face the scripts of paper in her box, all the regrets and sorrows. Can she do it? Or will she run again?
The structure of Shades of Morning consists of alternating third person viewpoints among Marnie, Taylor, and a Down Syndrome boy who also is involved in the plot. The author's style of writing among the characters is an attempt to create tension and intensity, but instead often comes across as a weak attempt at melodrama. Despite this, a few of the many flashbacks draw the reader into the plot by revealing the thought processes of the heroine.
Marnie Wittier is a strong-willed woman who prefers escape instead of confrontation. She is smart and loving toward everyone but herself and refuses to let go of her past. She relates to other characters in a clichéd but sweet way. They care for her, but she systematically refuses to see past her own pain. Schalesky tries to make Marnie someone who is easy to relate to, but she fails and, instead, writes a story about a character full of contradictions.
I was simply relieved when I finished the book. The characters were not dynamic, the writing was quite average, and the plot was artificially sweet. The storyline was too typical of Christian fiction. Yet, despite its shortcomings, the novel had a good biblical message about love, life, and forgiveness. This book would be the best for middle-aged Christian women looking for a somewhat sappy but well-intentioned story about reunited romance. Giselle Gonzalez, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Adele5 Stars Out Of 5A very good bookDecember 23, 2011AdeleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I enjoyed it very much. I couldn't put it down. I ended up reading until 2 in the morning to finish it.
Sara @ Embracing DestinyAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Quirky story of redemption and providenceJuly 17, 2011Sara @ Embracing DestinyAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Shades of Morning is at its heart a story of redemption and divine providence. I found myself drawn into the plot immediately, even though it did strain my "suspension of disbelief" several times. There were times I felt that the main character Marnie behaved in what I considered an unlikely and ridiculous way. It was a quick read with a surprise ending that I will not even hint about. Suffice it to say, I can usually predict the endings of books, but this was not what I expected at all. I do feel that there was a strong spiritual message throughout the novel. While avoiding "preachiness" or heavy-handed tactics, Marlo Shalesky was able to convey the significance of forgiveness and restoration freely offered by our loving Creator.
If you like quirky characters and following the "clues" left by God's guiding hand in situations, you'll like Shades of Morning.
Nora Finding HopeAtlantaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5July 23, 2010Nora Finding HopeAtlantaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleToday Marnie meets her sisters child for the first time. Hes fifteen and has Downs syndrome. How could her sister Rose, keep a secret like this? Taylor, the executor of her sisters will and former friend was asking the impossible; she couldnt raise Roses son, Emmit. Marnie was single and had a coffee shop to run, people depended on her. Her life was full, and no room for anything else. But the longer Emmit stayed and the more she learned about him, a surprising thing happened. Marnie realizes she needs him. Emmit was showing her the way home. He was showing her how to trust, in people and in God again.Taylor realizes he has his own struggles with God and Marnie.God, who wanted him to let go. God, who had never stopped pursuing him. God, who wanted the past for Himself. Why couldnt he let go? What was he afraid of?Im so glad I received a review copy of this amazing, powerful, heartfelt story. Marlo has a talent to captivate you from the start and immediately draw on your heart strings, because her characters are believable and they deal with circumstances beyond themselves. I felt for Emmits situation as he was forced to live with an Aunt hed never met.This author captures the endearing qualities of Emmit and the real issues he struggles with being a Downs syndrome teenager, but at the same time youll see the simple way he views life and knows whats important. He hopes Marnie realizes it before its too late. I was absolutely taken in by Emmit praising God in church, how he loved life and I laughed at his obsession with doughnuts!When you meet Emmit and get to know him, you wont look at another Downs syndrome child the same. I highly recommend this novel. The story and its characters will stay with you long after the last page is read.
SweetsladyWichita, KSAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5July 22, 2010SweetsladyWichita, KSAge: 35-44Gender: femaleI loved this book! I had a hard time in beginning getting into it, but after I figured out what was going on then I couldn't put it down. Was a beautiful story of old love found again and coming back to Christ! I also loved how Marnie was able to find love for a child with Down's which in tured helped her to face her past. This was a great Christian romance, and just when I thought I had it all figured out. There was a huge twist and I was so wrong. LOL! Great read for summer! This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah. All opinions are my own.
Heidi MainCary, NCAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5July 16, 2010Heidi MainCary, NCAge: 45-54Gender: femaleThis gripping novel was well-written and I loved the plot twists. It was a page-turner, especially towards the end. I truly enjoyed that Marnie and Taylor had a love story in this novel yet were in different cities for all but one scene! That created a mystery and suspense for me, the reader. Marlo answered a question in each chapter then asked another one, creating a heightened sense of curiosity to keep me reading. I was intrigued by this style and loved it!