by Marlo Schalesky

June 2010
ISBN: 978-1601420251
Reviewer Graphic Button Multnomah Publishers Inc
Trade Paperback

Marnie Wittier was raised in foster homes ever since her dead-beat mom abandoned her and her sister, Rose. And she was involved with a boy named Taylor Cole, a law student. But now, fifteen years later, Marnie has left her eastern home far behind, and made her home in California where she runs a bookshop/coffee shop and lives a quiet, peaceful life. She also has a shoe box full of regrets and bad decisions she’s made.

Taylor has earned his law degree, but he has never married, because Marnie holds his heart. Now Rose is gone and, as Rose’s attorney, Taylor is forced to find Marnie so she can have custody of Rose’s son, fifteen year old Emmitt, a boy Marnie didn’t even know existed. When Emmitt arrives Marnie discovers he has Down’s syndrome and she feels woefully unprepared.

Now Emmitt and Taylor are forced to try to find their places in Marnie’s heart. Will Marnie let them in? Or will she do what she usually does and escape? What will it take to make her stay?

Shades of Morning is the newest book by award-winning author, Marlo Schalesky. A very talented writer, Ms. Schalesky has the ability to make characters come to life and move on the pages of the book.

Marnie is an unconventional heroine, one who sounds like she would be a put-off to the conservative church set, with spiked hair, multiple piercings, etc. Yet, she has a tender heart and is willing to go to any length to take care of her friends, even if it means making herself uncomfortable.

Taylor has his own list of regrets, but he struggles to make the best of them, hanging on to dreams and struggling to make them reality. I wanted to see him succeed in his missions. I also grew to care for Emmitt.

There was an unexpected twist to the story, but it totally fit, making the story complete and whole. Readers of contemporary fiction will not want to miss Shades of Morning. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book.

Reviewed in July 2010 by Laura.

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