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Morning Glory, by LaVyrle Spencer

I am having a horrible time writing this review. There’s nothing I can criticize about this book. Not one single thing. How can you write a balanced review when there’s nothing weak or flawed there to balance all the good? So I’m giving up—this is not a balanced review, I’m going to gush and praise like the most rabid of fangirls.

The back cover blurb doesn’t even begin to convey the complexity of the story, nor the mastery of the writing:

Elly

In town, they called her “Crazy Widow Dinsmore.” But Elly was no stranger to their ridicule—she had been an outsider all her life, growing up in a boarded-up old house under the strict eye of her eccentric grandparents. Now she was all alone, with two little boys to raise, and a third child on the way.

Will

He drifted into Whitney, Georgia, one lazy afternoon in the summer of 1941, hoping to put his lonely past behind him. He yearned for the tenderness he had never known, the home he’d never had. All he needed was for someone to give him a chance.

Then he saw a classified ad: WANTED—A husband. When he stepped across Elly Dinsmore’s cluttered yard, Will Parker knew he had come home at last.

The book spans about two and a half years during WWII, and follows two of the most memorable characters I’ve ever met. He’s an ex con, an orphan, displaced and haunted by his past. She’s a pregnant widow with two young children, a reputation for madness, and a deep mistrust for the people who have made her an outsider all of her life. (more…)