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  • Writer's pictureGaili Schoen

Morning in This Broken World

After her husband dies at an assisted living facility, Vivian continues to live at the facility because going home to her large home and garden feels too lonely. But when the facility goes into quarantine at the beginning of the pandemic, Vivian can't bear the idea of living solitarily in her small room in lockdown. She comes up with an idea. She has found out surreptitiously that her favorite caregiver, Luna, has just been evicted. Luna has a wheelchair-bound daughter named Wren with Cerebral Palsy whom Vivian adores, an angry, troubled son Cooper, and is separated from their deadbeat dad. Vivian invites Luna and her children to come live with her in her house to quarantine together. Luna agrees hesitatingly, as she is loathe to be a charity case and a burden upon Vivian. Luna quickly packs up and leaves her apartment while Vivian hastily leaves the assisted living facility and they all, somewhat awkwardly at first, become housemates.

"She was out of options. And then came that text from Vivian. She'd slept fourteen hours....She'd just relinquished her children to Vivian's care and surrendered."

Morning in This Broken World reveals the many complications of life for an unschooled single mother, a smart, sensitive girl with CP, a boy whose shaming homophobic father makes his life hell, and a widow who grieves deeply at the loss of her deceased husband and her estranged daughter. Together with a couple of caring neighbors, this blended family learns how to build trust and support each other, forming a strong bond of love and understanding. Author Katrina Kittle does a great job of reminding us how harrowing the pandemic was at the outset, while showing the silver linings so many of us experienced along the way. Releasing September 1st at your local bookstore or on Amazon.

Paperback 283 pages, Audiobook 10 hrs 35 mins

P.S. Some books I am not reviewing that might appeal to you:

The Nantucket Inn - by Pamela Kelley, is about a woman in her 50s who didn't know her husband was addicted to gambling until he dies, leaving her with almost no savings. She decides to turn her large Nantucket home into a bed and breakfast with the help of her son, which impacts her three daughters, all with troubled relationships. This is the first in an 8-book series. A light beach read.

A Month in Provence - by Gillian Harvey

Widow Nicky flies to Provence to renovate a broken down B&B for a British reality TV show at the request of her producer friend Jenny. The surly owner is unpleasant and unhelpful at first, but he and Nicky soon realize they have much in common, and they join forces to try to win the contest on a ridiculously tight budget. Harvey also wrote A Year at the French Farmhouse which I enjoyed.

The First Ladies - by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

A ficitionalized account of the important partnership of Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune, the activist daughter of formerly enslaved parents. This is the story of their close friendship, and an account of their relentless fight for civil rights.


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