What normally draws me into a story are good characters. As is often the case with good characters, the lives of the individuals will intersect in mysterious ways. In Morning Glory, the lives of Ada and Penny connect to one houseboat on Boat Street, an amazing feat considering the fifty year timespan between the protagonists. Who are these two women? What tragedy befell Ada’s family that causes her to run away from New York, to start anew in Seattle, Washington. What happened to the kind hearted Penny who disappeared one night, resulting in a vow of silence for the occupants of Boat Street for half a century?
Haunted by her past, Ada flees New York to a houseboat on Lake Union in Seattle. While there she comes in contact with many of Boat Street’s residents, some who have been there for many years. They make cryptic references to a woman who used to live in Ada’s new home, one who just vanished without a trace. From the moment Ada spotted Penny’s trunk, it was only a matter of time before the curious journalist opened it to investigate the mystery behind Penny’s disappearance. Penny, doting homemaker with the heart of an explorer, was loved by all who knew her, well, most anyway. Ada, a broken woman with a penchant for truth, didn’t know that she was to embark on a journey that would put her back together. With help from Penny, and a man named Alex, she would find hope and love once again.
My Favorite Character
I would have to say Jimmy. We see this kindly man as a child in Penny’s point of view, and both are quite endearing. He’s a supporting character, but it doesn’t make him any less important. As a child, he’s whimsical and imaginative, longing for his mother’s affection. He finds a kindred spirit in Penny, a woman he longs to call Mom. The man is kind and sad, yet we can still see the child within. It is my hope that this man returns to his childhood love of comic strip creating. By the end of the story we long to see him happy.
Words to Live By
“I watch as the vine drifts away on the lake. The little flowers bob up and down as if gasping for air. I consider that the vine might find its way to shore and wash up on a patch of soil, where it will start a new existence, maybe sink its roots and thrive. Maybe Naomi has set it free.” – Ada speaking of the Morning Glory plant.
Anyone who has risen above tragedy, and goes where the sea takes them.
Morning Glory grows with wild abandon, despite it deceptively being called a weed, it zealously overcomes all obstacles. Allow it to draw you into this beautiful tale.
Morning Glory is available at the Bellingham Public Library.