Publication Date: 26th November 2013
Book Source: Penguin Group & NetGalley
Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Sarah Jio imagines life on Boat Street, a floating community on Seattle’s Lake Union—home to people of artistic spirit who for decades protect the dark secret of one startling night in 1959
Fleeing an East Coast life marred by tragedy, Ada Santorini takes up residence on houseboat number seven on Boat Street. She discovers a trunk left behind by Penny Wentworth, a young newlywed who lived on the boat half a century earlier. Ada longs to know her predecessor’s fate, but little suspects that Penny’s mysterious past and her own clouded future are destined to converge.
I fell in love with Sarah Jio's beautiful writing style while reading The Bungalow. Morning Glory has that same languid, atmospheric feel, part love story, part mystery and I just adored feeling part of the houseboat community on Lake Union's Boat Street, Seattle.
Dark clouds are rolling in all around, and the rain's intensity increases as we paddle back across the lake, which looks like wrinkled gray velvet. By the time we reach my dock, we're soaked, but somehow, I don't mind.
The dual story line and time frame of Ada Santorini (present day) and Penny Wentworth (1959) is connected by houseboat number 7; seamlessly executed and equally captivating. One of my many favourite parts was the heartwarming role Penny's unassuming recipe book played in the story, both for a reader sharing Penny's passion for baking and for Ada. There's a couple of recipe's included that I'd love to try; Cinnamon Rolls is top of my list.
Cinnamon Rolls (Dex's Favourite)
makes 1 dozen
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 package yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tblsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from stove. Mix in butter, stir until melted. Let cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt; mix well. Add egg, water and the milk/butter mixture. Beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead dough until smooth. About 5 mins.
Let dough rise for about an hour or more. Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and softened butter for filling.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees . Punch down dough, then roll out into a 12x9 inch rectangle. Spread filling mixture on dough. Roll up and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal-size pieces and place in greased 9x12 glass dish. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool, then drizzle with royal icing if desired.
You don't get a traditional, neatly-tied-up-with-a-bow ending with Sarah Jio's stories but it's a fitting ending ... bittersweet, sure to bring a tear to the eye and a smile to your face.
I know I may always ache for the past, for the two greatest loves of my life, but I want to be a bird now. I want to flap my wings through the rainstorms. I want to start my day with the earnestness of the morning glory, the way it blossoms open with the sunrise, ready to shine no matter what.
Another story enticingly revealed a piece at a time until you realise it's all so beautifully and deftly intertwined.
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