counter create hit Early Morning Riser - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Early Morning Riser

Availability: Ready to download

A wise, bighearted, boundlessly joyful novel of love, disaster, and unconventional family Jane falls in love with Duncan easily. He is charming, good-natured, and handsome but unfortunately, he has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan. Jane sees Duncan’s old girlfriends everywhere–at restaurants, at the grocery store, even three towns away. While Jane m A wise, bighearted, boundlessly joyful novel of love, disaster, and unconventional family Jane falls in love with Duncan easily. He is charming, good-natured, and handsome but unfortunately, he has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan. Jane sees Duncan’s old girlfriends everywhere–at restaurants, at the grocery store, even three towns away. While Jane may be able to come to terms with dating the world’s most prolific seducer of women, she wishes she did not have to share him quite so widely. His ex-wife, Aggie, a woman with shiny hair and pale milkmaid skin, still has Duncan mow her lawn. His coworker, Jimmy, comes and goes from Duncan’s apartment at the most inopportune times. Sometimes Jane wonders if a relationship can even work with three people in it–never mind four. Five if you count Aggie’s eccentric husband, Gary. Not to mention all the other residents of Boyne City, who freely share with Jane their opinions of her choices. But any notion Jane had of love and marriage changes with one terrible car crash. Soon Jane’s life is permanently intertwined with Duncan’s, Aggie’s, and Jimmy’s, and Jane knows she will never have Duncan to herself. But could it be possible that a deeper kind of happiness is right in front of Jane’s eyes? A novel that is alternately bittersweet and laugh-out-loud funny, Katherine Heiny’s Early Morning Riser is her most astonishingly wonderful work to date.


Compare

A wise, bighearted, boundlessly joyful novel of love, disaster, and unconventional family Jane falls in love with Duncan easily. He is charming, good-natured, and handsome but unfortunately, he has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan. Jane sees Duncan’s old girlfriends everywhere–at restaurants, at the grocery store, even three towns away. While Jane m A wise, bighearted, boundlessly joyful novel of love, disaster, and unconventional family Jane falls in love with Duncan easily. He is charming, good-natured, and handsome but unfortunately, he has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan. Jane sees Duncan’s old girlfriends everywhere–at restaurants, at the grocery store, even three towns away. While Jane may be able to come to terms with dating the world’s most prolific seducer of women, she wishes she did not have to share him quite so widely. His ex-wife, Aggie, a woman with shiny hair and pale milkmaid skin, still has Duncan mow her lawn. His coworker, Jimmy, comes and goes from Duncan’s apartment at the most inopportune times. Sometimes Jane wonders if a relationship can even work with three people in it–never mind four. Five if you count Aggie’s eccentric husband, Gary. Not to mention all the other residents of Boyne City, who freely share with Jane their opinions of her choices. But any notion Jane had of love and marriage changes with one terrible car crash. Soon Jane’s life is permanently intertwined with Duncan’s, Aggie’s, and Jimmy’s, and Jane knows she will never have Duncan to herself. But could it be possible that a deeper kind of happiness is right in front of Jane’s eyes? A novel that is alternately bittersweet and laugh-out-loud funny, Katherine Heiny’s Early Morning Riser is her most astonishingly wonderful work to date.

30 review for Early Morning Riser

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Having loved Standard Deviation, I was looking forward with great anticipation to Katherine Heiny's latest novel, which brims with her trademark humour, warmth, and wit. Like another of my favourite writers, Elizabeth Strout, she captures the extraordinary in the ordinariness in her inspired characters, whilst revealing the heart of a small town American community, in this case, Boyne City in Michigan. 26 year old elementary teacher, Jane, meets, Duncan, in his early forties, within the first mo Having loved Standard Deviation, I was looking forward with great anticipation to Katherine Heiny's latest novel, which brims with her trademark humour, warmth, and wit. Like another of my favourite writers, Elizabeth Strout, she captures the extraordinary in the ordinariness in her inspired characters, whilst revealing the heart of a small town American community, in this case, Boyne City in Michigan. 26 year old elementary teacher, Jane, meets, Duncan, in his early forties, within the first month of relocating for her new job when he arrives at her home after she has locked herself out. He is handsome, kind, and she falls for him hook, line and sinker, unaware initially that he has, it seems, slept with every woman in town. Everywhere she goes, she comes face to face with these women, with whom he manages mostly to remain on friendly terms. He even helps with mowing the lawn of his beautiful ex-wife, Aggie, and her second husband, Gary. We follow Jane's life through almost two decades of her life, the class of children she teaches, and the ins and outs of her relationships with best friend, Frieda, a music teacher who is never to be seen without her mandolin, Duncan's work colleague, Jimmy, with his learning difficulties, the organising Aggie, who is a wonderful cook, and Gary. There are times Jane wishes that she and Duncan had more alone time with each other, and Aggie ignites resentment, fear, and all her inner insecurities. However, a tragedy and guilt is to shape her more expansive perception of what family is, whilst becoming a parent and raising two daughters, Glenn and the more challenging Patrice, and fostering a closer relationship with Aggie with its changing dynamics through the years. Heiny's beautifully written prose is assured and confident, her vibrant and perceptive storytelling shines with its intelligence, tenderness, observations and humour that draws the reader skilfully into the small town world she creates, with her wide range of characters that feel authentic, idiosyncratic and imbued with their all too human flaws. My favourite character is Jimmy, a pivotal person who illustrates the emotional depth of Duncan's character, gelling the small circle of supportive friends more closely together, and provides Jane with the opportunity to come to terms with a more broader definition and understanding of what and who is family. This is a wonderfully joyful book and a sheer bliss of a reading experience, of life, love, loss, family, friendship and community that will appeal to so many readers. Highly recommended. Many thanks to HarperCollins 4th Estate for an ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    Loved, loved, loved it! Early Morning Riser is a slim, 336-page book that took me longer than usual to read because I savored every word. Picking it up each night was like sliding into a bed made of clouds and floating on air. Comfortable… and comforting. The novel is broken into seven parts, each a lengthy glimpse into the life of small-town elementary school teacher Jane in a given year starting in 2002 and ending in 2019. This style allows the author to go into great detail about Jane’s world, Loved, loved, loved it! Early Morning Riser is a slim, 336-page book that took me longer than usual to read because I savored every word. Picking it up each night was like sliding into a bed made of clouds and floating on air. Comfortable… and comforting. The novel is broken into seven parts, each a lengthy glimpse into the life of small-town elementary school teacher Jane in a given year starting in 2002 and ending in 2019. This style allows the author to go into great detail about Jane’s world, thoughts, and relationships over the span of two decades without turning the book into a doorstop. While there is some tragedy, Early Morning Riser has a fairly low-stakes plot that falls somewhere between drama and uplit. I suppose “dramedy” is the descriptor that fits best. Remember that TV show “Northern Exposure?” It’s a little like that. Quirky characters, real-life situations portrayed in an honest way, and just good old-fashioned exceptional writing. If you’re a reader that needs a compelling mystery to pull you through the pages of a book, this is probably not a great choice for you. But if you want to spend time in a gentle world at the end of a long day, this is the place. My thanks goes to Katherine Heiny and 4th Estate / William Collins Books for the gifted advance copy via NetGalley to review. It’s been a pleasure. Blog: www.confettibookshelf.com IG: @confettibookshelf

  3. 4 out of 5

    JanB

    If you are looking for the perfect feel-good summer (or any season!) read, this is it! I loved the author’s book Standard Deviation, and while this one doesn't have the same snarky humor, the overriding theme and excellent writing remains. People are complicated, and life doesn’t always turns out in ways you anticipate. Families are messy, infuriating, quirky, lovely, they will drive you crazy one moment and give you moments of unexpected joy and contentment the next. Often we don’t value what is If you are looking for the perfect feel-good summer (or any season!) read, this is it! I loved the author’s book Standard Deviation, and while this one doesn't have the same snarky humor, the overriding theme and excellent writing remains. People are complicated, and life doesn’t always turns out in ways you anticipate. Families are messy, infuriating, quirky, lovely, they will drive you crazy one moment and give you moments of unexpected joy and contentment the next. Often we don’t value what is right in front of us. None of this is new of course. Plenty of books have those themes and you may be tempted to pass this one by as yet another book with a tired trope. Don’t make this mistake! What makes all the difference are the characters and the WAY the story is told. We follow Jane & Duncan, and all the people in their orbit, from 2002 to 2019. The emotions and the dialogue is realistic, and the characters are wise and funny. All are REAL, complicated, broken, chaotic….and I loved all of them. But their friend Jimmy who has developmental delays – oh my, he has my heart! ❤️ Can a marriage work with more than two people in it? It’s not what you think, and the answer is a resounding yes. Families aren't always conventional. Katherine Heiny writes with sensitivity and tenderness about that which makes us human and binds us together. The humor prevents it from becoming trite and maudlin. To paraphrase the popular show, Seinfeld, it’s a book about nothing, yet about so much. I suggest spending some time with this one at a stretch in order to get into the rhythm of the story and get to know the characters. It is not one to read in short snippets. This is not a thrilling compulsive page-turner, it’s a quiet book that will take hold of your heart in unexpected ways and make you wish you were part of Jane & Duncan’s lives. I turned the last page with a smile on my face, and a lump in my throat. I adore this author and will read anything she writes. Katherine Heiny is now firmly on my short list of authors who can write about the day-to-day ordinary life in an extraordinary way. * I received a digital copy of this book via Edelweiss. All opinions are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anni

    The perfect antidote to a miserable year and non-festive Christmas season ! I was overjoyed to discover that this novel of small town life and family relationships is just as delightfully entertaining as Heiny’s first novel ‘Standard Deviation’. Her genius at creating odd-ball, lovable, yet believable characters is only matched by the great Anne Tyler - but Heiny creates more situation comedy with laughs and striking behavioural observations on every page. I could have highlighted most of the nove The perfect antidote to a miserable year and non-festive Christmas season ! I was overjoyed to discover that this novel of small town life and family relationships is just as delightfully entertaining as Heiny’s first novel ‘Standard Deviation’. Her genius at creating odd-ball, lovable, yet believable characters is only matched by the great Anne Tyler - but Heiny creates more situation comedy with laughs and striking behavioural observations on every page. I could have highlighted most of the novel! Highly recommended. Many thanks go to the publisher for the ARC via NetGalley.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Even though I’ve had my rescue Australian Shepherd dog for four years now, my heart still bursts when I walk him and watch his little ears bouncing as he resolutely chugs along. And it bursts even more - like fully burst-cherry-tomato-pasta bursts - when I think of how shitty his first, pre-rescue year of life was, and how happy he at least seems to be now. Likewise, I felt like my heart was exploding the entire time reading this book from how good it was, and what types of themes it addresses, Even though I’ve had my rescue Australian Shepherd dog for four years now, my heart still bursts when I walk him and watch his little ears bouncing as he resolutely chugs along. And it bursts even more - like fully burst-cherry-tomato-pasta bursts - when I think of how shitty his first, pre-rescue year of life was, and how happy he at least seems to be now. Likewise, I felt like my heart was exploding the entire time reading this book from how good it was, and what types of themes it addresses, and how talented and unique (and funny!) an author Heiny is. Even now, just thinking about it, my inner organs feel like they’re rearranging themselves in an emotionally volatile but ultimately happy polka. This is a book about moments like that that keep us all chugging along through the walk of life, how (as Aldous Huxley and many others have well said), we are not what happens to us; we are what we do with what happens to us. This is a book about the complicated beauty of (IRL, face to face) relationships and of created family, as well as the kind of family that makes you want to stomp your feet and holler (at any age), “I didn’t ask to be born!” It is a book about the wonder and unbeatable pleasures of the day-to-day, and how we need to remember to resolutely live only for those things that make our hearts cherry-tomato burst, and fuck all the rest of it! Heiny is one of my favorite authors - and, as I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen, an author I got to hear at a local book festival, and she is a lovely human; if she were a Great Lake, she’d be Superior. I just feel like she captures interior life - what mine feels like anyway, or at least the interior life of anyone with some very basic sense of humor and humility - better than anyone I’ve read. As an added bonus - I’d no idea of her Michigan connection, but this is where I grew up. And in a time when I, as a transplanted-to-the-East-Coast-er, am often surrounded by people content to glibly dismiss the entire US interior as a flyover zone, she welcomely captures the (it can be savage and breathtaking) beauty of northern Michigan, the qualities and quirks and nuances and humanity that Midwesterners can demonstrate at their very best, and how living in touch with four very distinct, but also often snowy seasons, largely at the mercy of the weather, and surrounded by awe-inspiring reminders of glaciation and geography and time and the relative tiny-ness and fragility of human life can all inspire a sense of necessary community and a kind of personal mindfulness and gratitude in the small things that really matter, long before these things were trends. Five, Giant, Great Lakes-Shaped Stars. Also, one quick note: as a native Michigander, I know our cool geography is unfortunately most misunderstood (seriously, check out the subreddit r/MapsWithoutUP), so I need to clarify. This book is *NOT* set in the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan, but rather in Northern Lower Michigan - the part that looks like a mitten. [Which is also a peninsula - a landmass surrounded mostly by water, which is the first thing drilled into an elementary school Michi-gosling - but the Lower Peninsula is securely saddled to Ohio, which is a lot for any landmass to bear (lol sorry Buckeyes, love you!), whereas the UP is tethered to much less.] Hold out your right hand in front of you, put your fingers tightly together, and stick your thumb out to about 2 o’clock, and with this book we’re roughly talking about the part of the state around the edges of your ring finger between the pinky and middle finger. (This is by far the coolest perk of past or present Michigan residency, to be able to do this.) The UP is the other large part of Michigan, again often omitted from or incorrectly labeled in maps, that is above the entirety of the mitten part and looks kind of like a misshapen, westward-facing sleeping rabbit drawn by a child (this is actually sort of a controversy, what it looks like: the mitten part sets an unbeatably high standard), and does NOT belong to Canada or Wisconsin. (While the UP is also savagely beautiful, like tear your eyes out with a fishhook beautiful, it is also its own whole vast and brave new world - an extremely distinct and different place and culture, worthy of its own awesome novels.) Also: PopSugar 2021 Reading Challenge: A book with the same title as a song. Book Riot 2021 Read Harder Challenge #22: A book set in the Midwest.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    4.5 stars. The whole time I was reading this book I kept thinking about what a little marvel it is. And I know it is Heiny's specialty, but still. She doesn't really follow any of the rules about how to make a novel draw the reader in and move them along just so. For the first third or so not much even happens. And outside of one large turning point part way through, not much else happens. And yet! I wanted to ditch all my obligations to read this book all day. Heiny is just the kind of writer I 4.5 stars. The whole time I was reading this book I kept thinking about what a little marvel it is. And I know it is Heiny's specialty, but still. She doesn't really follow any of the rules about how to make a novel draw the reader in and move them along just so. For the first third or so not much even happens. And outside of one large turning point part way through, not much else happens. And yet! I wanted to ditch all my obligations to read this book all day. Heiny is just the kind of writer I like, she isn't too fussy but she has a deep emotional wisdom that you get to partake of all throughout the book. Jane makes one very understandable mistake right away: she falls in love with Duncan. She is new to their small town and he is gorgeous with a sweet and sunny disposition, so you cannot blame her. Except Duncan has slept with every woman in town and the surrounding counties to boot. And if he seems like an obviously bad bet at the beginning of the book, it does not stay that way. Not because Duncan changes at all, he is a constant. It's Jane who changes, and she spends the book wondering what she wants. This is a small town book populated with quirky characters. Jane is not quirky and she often chides herself for unkind thoughts while she observes others, though outwardly she is reliable and caring for the friendships she finds herself in over the years. Personally I think Jane does not give herself enough credit, I would not be inviting my friend who always ends evenings pulling out her mandolin and singing, nor would I enjoy spending so much time with my boyfriend's ex-wife. Jane can turn on a dime from loving her friends (or Duncan or her mother) to needing them to immediately leave her presence, which was one of the most relatable things about her. Spending time in Jane's head felt a lot like home to me. Jane is also a second grade teacher and basically every scene with her students was one where I laughed out loud. While this is often a sad book, it is more often a funny book and I laughed a lot. (I also cried. Two for one.) One important part of the plot is Jimmy, Duncan's "assistant," who has an unidentified cognitive or developmental delay. They are in the kind of small town where everyone knows Jimmy and does a bit of looking out for Jimmy. But we do not live in a world that is set up for people like Jimmy to be adequately cared for. And everyone chipping in is far from an effective system for an adult who lacks the capacity to fully care for himself. How Jimmy is involved in Jane's life changes over the course of the book, but I appreciated how the book viewed him as a full character--Jane will sometimes get frustrated with him just as she will with everyone else--but not having him as a plot device or a person who stays in the background of the story until needed. Jimmy is all over it, and it felt like a solid portrayal of disability, specifically adult disability that we don't get to see very often. The thing that is very hard about this book if you are a person like me is that Jane just does not talk to Duncan about the things that she should. She has her reasons (she is terrified of what Duncan will say) but this is not a book where Jane and Duncan are able to build themselves a better relationship thanks to good communication. It is a book where almost no communication between them takes place. If you, like me, are guilty of living most of your romantic relationships in your own head rather than spoken out loud between you and your partner, this will all feel eerily familiar, and I can attest to its accuracy. I would just like to read a million Katherine Heiny books that are set deep in the minds of a character, where you grow to feel deeply connected to and invested in them. It was truly a lovely experience.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook...read by Kate Rudd . . . 10 hours and 11 minutes Have you ever in your life wanted an interim relationship, If yes please do tell. This is a story I’d enjoy hearing about. I thought it was so incredibly presumptuous that Duncan assumed Jane wanted an interim relationship, because after all she was young, only 26 years of age, and Duncan was 40, clear he was never going to get married again, figured that Jane would look for somebody more serious when the time came—Duncan assumed he was Audiobook...read by Kate Rudd . . . 10 hours and 11 minutes Have you ever in your life wanted an interim relationship, If yes please do tell. This is a story I’d enjoy hearing about. I thought it was so incredibly presumptuous that Duncan assumed Jane wanted an interim relationship, because after all she was young, only 26 years of age, and Duncan was 40, clear he was never going to get married again, figured that Jane would look for somebody more serious when the time came—Duncan assumed he was an interim-boyfriend.... You know, just what Jane wanted...an older-aged-man-toy?/! Ha.... not exactly!!! With my silly confused mind ... I said to Paul (yeah, the husband I often talk about), last night.... “I don’t know one woman who wanted an ‘interim’ relationship”..... THINGS TURNED FUNNY, with us.... Paul said, “sure, lots of people - men & women - just want fuck buddies”..... I LAUGHED & LAUGHED.... Of course..... then why didn’t our ‘Mr. Ladies-Hot Stuff’, Duncan just say what he meant...the dipstick! “of course Jane was just a fuck buddy”.....( her monogamous boyfriend).... ...Duncan was the dipstick ...Jane was the pretty, thrifty, new grammar school teacher in town. So I thought.... From the beginning…we know it’s Jane who has the raw deal in their relationship with Hunky-Duncan, who has screwed every female in town and is in an active ongoing communicative/handyman relationship with his ex-wife. The ex-wife, Aggie, has been married for 10 years, but it’s only been five years since she enjoyed her fuck buddy-hunky-Duncan herself. but ex-wife Aggie and Duncan have finally stopped their ex-relationship hanky-panky.... so now when Hunky-Duncan comes over, he really does just mow the lawn and use his tools to repair anything —‘but Aggie’. Enter Luke Armstrong...not Lance Armstrong Take that buster-Duncan dipstick! Luke Armstrong was the perfect marrying man. Jane’s relationships happen quickly. Wedding coming soon.... but not before a string of wedding arrangements to face...dinner with Luke’s parents....and her own exhausting mother .... But as easy as this all sounds.... ...regular people popping in and out of each other‘s houses and beds in the small community town in Boyne City, Michigan not far from Traverse City —(one of the most beautiful spots in United States in my opinion)..... comes a FUN- FUNNY - BITTERSWEET- CRAZY ENJOYABLE NOVEL .... A group of nutty characters- you’ll miss when the novel ends. Nothing is conventional!! So, I ask you? What’s the opposite of comfort food? Well that’s pretty easy… Discomfort food! Oh.... so many great laughs!! And Duncan...? Yep.... lol . . . He still a dipstick! Have fun .... Great timing for a little snazzy entertainment.... wouldn’t you say?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    4.5 stars, rounded up. If you love character-driven novels, like me, I implore you to check out Katherine Heiny’s books. She is a master of showing real, multifaceted, complex people going through intimate, authentic emotions. Okay, now let’s talk about her new release, Early Morning Riser. Jane is the newest resident of small town Boyne City, Michigan. She’s in her late twenties, a second grade teacher. She’s quiet, friendly, still trying to fit in. She meets Duncan when she locks herself out o 4.5 stars, rounded up. If you love character-driven novels, like me, I implore you to check out Katherine Heiny’s books. She is a master of showing real, multifaceted, complex people going through intimate, authentic emotions. Okay, now let’s talk about her new release, Early Morning Riser. Jane is the newest resident of small town Boyne City, Michigan. She’s in her late twenties, a second grade teacher. She’s quiet, friendly, still trying to fit in. She meets Duncan when she locks herself out of her new house and he heroically manages to get her back inside. To say thank you, Jane invites him to stay for dinner. He does, they have sex, Jane falls in love - oh but wait - did you think this was a love story? Did I forget to mention that Duncan has an ex-wife named Aggie who still relies on Duncan to mow her lawn in the summer and plow her snowy driveway in the winter? Oh and ever since their divorce Duncan has made it his mission to be the town womanizer, a real modern Lothario if you will. Oh and he never wants to get married again. Do you think he should’ve mentioned that before or after Jane (and I) caught feelings for him? I know, I know the book starts out with a meet-cute but I’m here to tell you that it’s not that kind of love story. It’s a better one. This is a found family story. In Boyne City, every person Jane meets is a CHARACTER. Duncan, Aggie, Gary, Freida, Jimmy, and Jane’s mom all live rent-free in my brain now because what an interesting array of personalities! I loved seeing Jane’s relationship with each of the townspeople grow and change over the years. The way this story is written, you get detailed snippets of Jane’s life in the moment and I loved it so much. Katherine Heiny is an outstanding writer of people. She shows you who they are, doesn’t tell you. It’s incredible. I’m officially a loyal fan who will follow, what I expect to be, her long, prolific career. for more bookish content follow me on instagram @concerningnovels

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    Nobody makes me fall in love with her characters as hard as Katherine Heiny. She brings them all to messy glorious life and reveals those tiny moments in life that make it all worthwhile. Here she is again exploring modern marriage but in a way only Heiny could. I adored every moment.

  10. 4 out of 5

    SueLucie

    As soon as I saw Katherine Heiny has a new book out I had to get my hands on it, I loved Standard Deviation so much a few years ago. I have seen her writing described as being in the vein of Anne Tyler and Elizabeth Strout (and that is no bad company, I am a fan of both of them too) in its depiction of small-town America. There is that bitter-sweet quality to her characters and their lives, subtle but incisive observations of situations and relationships, but she is so much funnier. She is mistr As soon as I saw Katherine Heiny has a new book out I had to get my hands on it, I loved Standard Deviation so much a few years ago. I have seen her writing described as being in the vein of Anne Tyler and Elizabeth Strout (and that is no bad company, I am a fan of both of them too) in its depiction of small-town America. There is that bitter-sweet quality to her characters and their lives, subtle but incisive observations of situations and relationships, but she is so much funnier. She is mistress of the deadpan one-liners. This latest novel differs from her first in that it is less laugh-out-loud funny and more poignant, especially where Jimmy is concerned. There is a small cast of characters and we get to know them well, following the action through the eyes of Jane, an absolute delight - I could read about her forever. Highly recommended. With thanks to 4th Estate via NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mary McBride

    I loved it! Due out in the spring. It is unlike anything I have read lately. It's a love story set in a small town in Michigan- but it's so much more. Each character is memorable and flawed but so lovable. The message is about love and happiness and acceptance. We need more books like this now. Do not miss. I loved it! Due out in the spring. It is unlike anything I have read lately. It's a love story set in a small town in Michigan- but it's so much more. Each character is memorable and flawed but so lovable. The message is about love and happiness and acceptance. We need more books like this now. Do not miss.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie G.

    This is one of those books about simple warm Midwestern people who live lives where not much most people think worth talking about happens. These are good people, with little quirks we are supposed to find dear (I think.) I generally don't like these reading these books, even the ones I think are generally well written. The Lager Queen of Minnesota comes to mind. It is a book I felt bad about not liking, but I abandoned it fairly early on. I am not sure why this is one I finished and generally l This is one of those books about simple warm Midwestern people who live lives where not much most people think worth talking about happens. These are good people, with little quirks we are supposed to find dear (I think.) I generally don't like these reading these books, even the ones I think are generally well written. The Lager Queen of Minnesota comes to mind. It is a book I felt bad about not liking, but I abandoned it fairly early on. I am not sure why this is one I finished and generally liked. It was certainly well written. Heiny allowed these characters to settle into its boringness in a way I liked. She didn't make its main characters painfully quirky to add interest (though she did with its secondary characters.) I think that made the difference. This book is an homage to a very specific life and place, and both fortunately and unfortunately its a life to which I have lived adjacent, and which many people I know, and some people I love, still live. In part stories about this life don't work for me because I know the source material too well, but mostly I don't like the stories because this existence never felt natural to me and that was bad. It made me defective and I tried to hide it and I was so very unhappy. Because I had to act the contentment others felt I had to be more aware of its components and manifestations than the people who actually are content and really are living those lives. I consider myself an expert of sorts, and I think Heiny got it right. She does seem to have fully and lovingly embraced this part of Americana (though notably she did not opt to live this life but is rather living in very not sleepy and simple Bethesda, MD.) Heiny tells a lovely little story, set in Northern Michigan (a place I do love but would never actually want to live.) Boyne Mountain was the site of my first hot tub kiss (I was 13) and of my first time hiding a goatskin filled with hot chocolate spiked with peppermint schnapps under my jacket while we skied (consumed roughly three hours before the hot tub kissing.) The characters hang out in Charlevoix and Petoskey and other places that make me smile when I type. This is a real plus for me. If people want to know what Middle America is holding onto it is this. These little communities where everyone knows each other's business, and everyone ends up part of these makeshift families filed with people with no or minimal actual blood ties and whom they don't much like. Their lives and world views are small, which does not mean they are stupid in the least (this is another thing people get wrong.) In this life there is no yearning for the pleasures of the city, for multiculturalism, 21st century music, fashion, authentic Uyghur food, travel, or trade deals. People just want to lead their lives the way they want to lead them and raise their kids who go to schools filled with a few great teachers and a lot more waiting for retirement and Hooters VIP status (this is a direct reference to the book, but also real life.) Just because I personally hated living this life doesn't make it a bad one at all, and I was gratified to see someone create a lovely well crafted portrait of small. rural, remote Midwestern life. Some of my best friends live that life, and I truly wish it suited me better because there is a lot to recommend it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Resh (The Book Satchel)

    An offbeat love story. Heiny has a wonderful way of bringing together oddball characters int strange situations. Here, a second grade teacher Jane falls for Duncan. Duncan is a woman's man and has slept with most of the women in town. Also, he maintains cordial relationships with most of them, including his ex-wife (he still mows her lawn). - love how deeply Heiny goes into her characters - loved how Duncan's arc developed. You really get to know him more and more and we read - love the sentiments An offbeat love story. Heiny has a wonderful way of bringing together oddball characters int strange situations. Here, a second grade teacher Jane falls for Duncan. Duncan is a woman's man and has slept with most of the women in town. Also, he maintains cordial relationships with most of them, including his ex-wife (he still mows her lawn). - love how deeply Heiny goes into her characters - loved how Duncan's arc developed. You really get to know him more and more and we read - love the sentiments in the novel— the sense of community, gossips in small town, being unsure in relationships, the ordinariness of life - i liked Jane's mother as a character and her weird phone calls and texts. You sigh as soon as she appears on page. She is unstoppable in being the typical 'mother' and sometimes you wish you could scream at her 'stop' - i liked seeing the complexity of relationships, whether a rocky mother-daughter one or helping out a friend or how everyone in town gives out unsolicited opinions to Jane, making her anxious or worried at times. - I wished the novel was shorter because some portions dragged. Perhaps a tight plot isn't what Heiny had in mind, rather a cosy, heartwarming story, but I longed for some tightness. Thanks to 4th estate for an e-copy of the novel

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    This was such a lovely slice of life novel! This story follows Jane’s life from 2002 to 2019. Jane moves into town as a new teacher and from there her life becomes intertwined with a group of quirky, sometimes frustrating, but overall heartwarming characters. We meet Duncan, a ladies man, who Jane falls in love with. Aggie, Duncan’s ex-wife, who is still very much a part of his life. Freida, Jane’s mandolin-playing best friend. Jimmy, a guileless lovable friend. And many more! This was a comforti This was such a lovely slice of life novel! This story follows Jane’s life from 2002 to 2019. Jane moves into town as a new teacher and from there her life becomes intertwined with a group of quirky, sometimes frustrating, but overall heartwarming characters. We meet Duncan, a ladies man, who Jane falls in love with. Aggie, Duncan’s ex-wife, who is still very much a part of his life. Freida, Jane’s mandolin-playing best friend. Jimmy, a guileless lovable friend. And many more! This was a comforting, slowly paced read that I couldn’t get enough of! My favourite character has to be Jimmy; he is such an innocent and insightful person who you root for throughout the novel. If you like books that are more of a character study without much plot, I think you would love this book. Katherine Heiny has written a beautiful and poignant story with a cast of truly memorable characters that I’ll be thinking about for awhile. Many thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and author for this ARC in exchange for my opinions!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    A charming, funny story. I laughed out loud. This is a feel good read with eccentric but lovable characters and a happy ending. Set in Boyne City, Michigan it has lots of UP references and injokes. Our library book club read the author's novel Standard Deviation a few years ago. I thought it would be a welcome bedtime read. And it was that! I laughed out loud. Heiny knows the Up North culture, and through her character Jane, a young teacher new to the area, provides some very pointed humor. She me A charming, funny story. I laughed out loud. This is a feel good read with eccentric but lovable characters and a happy ending. Set in Boyne City, Michigan it has lots of UP references and injokes. Our library book club read the author's novel Standard Deviation a few years ago. I thought it would be a welcome bedtime read. And it was that! I laughed out loud. Heiny knows the Up North culture, and through her character Jane, a young teacher new to the area, provides some very pointed humor. She mentions the iconic Kilwin's ice cream and places Michiganders will know. It seemed to Jane that people who lived downstate had cabins in Northern Michigan, and people who lived in Northern Michigan had cabins in the Upper Peninsula, but where did people who lived in the Upper Peninsula have cabins? Canada? And where did Canadian people have cabins? At what point did there cease to be an appeal in going north and people gave up and bought time shares in Florida? I loved the wacky, likable characters that surround Jane. Her love interest Duncan seems to have slept with every woman she meets. Duncan was burned by his first marriage to a beautiful, but controlling, woman. He still mows his exe's yard and fixes things at her house, although she has remarried; her husband is eccentric with endless special needs. Duncan has taken under his wing Jimmy, a mentally challenged man. A tragic accident changes Jane's life and she assumes care for Jimmy along with Duncan. This charming novel has great heart and warmth.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This book was made available to me by Net Galley but the review is my own. WHAT. A. GEM. I loved this book! The characters are quirky, funny and 100% realistically human. The story is a great one about two people who date and break up and.... but the very best part of this book is the dialogue. Katherine Heiny’s ear and gift for dialogue reminded me of Anne Tyler on more than one occasion as I read. There were many times that I laughed out loud and even more times that I nodded in agreement at h This book was made available to me by Net Galley but the review is my own. WHAT. A. GEM. I loved this book! The characters are quirky, funny and 100% realistically human. The story is a great one about two people who date and break up and.... but the very best part of this book is the dialogue. Katherine Heiny’s ear and gift for dialogue reminded me of Anne Tyler on more than one occasion as I read. There were many times that I laughed out loud and even more times that I nodded in agreement at how authentic people sounded. Another treat is how the author writes about Jane’s career as a 2nd grade teacher. Humorous and touching. READ THIS BOOK WHEN IT IS RELEASED. Promise!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marion

    Well I did it again. In search of a warm-hearted, comfort read, I found this recommendation in the Times. I listened to the Audible version and the narrator was fine doing the female roles, but virtually destroyed the male characters with the voices of dolts. There really wasn’t a plot to compel the reader forward and what was left was a hodgepodge of small town characters interacting with each other over the span of almost 20 years. Everything was seen and told from a superficial perspective. I Well I did it again. In search of a warm-hearted, comfort read, I found this recommendation in the Times. I listened to the Audible version and the narrator was fine doing the female roles, but virtually destroyed the male characters with the voices of dolts. There really wasn’t a plot to compel the reader forward and what was left was a hodgepodge of small town characters interacting with each other over the span of almost 20 years. Everything was seen and told from a superficial perspective. I admit that I am being awfully harsh about a book that has gotten wonderful reviews from other readers. For those who do not like a lot of tension or depth, this is likely a good choice: mildly amusing, slightly quirky and warm.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jacki (Julia Flyte)

    This is a gorgeous, warm, funny novel set in a small Michigan town that channels Anne Tyler vibes. It's one of those books when you keep thinking about the characters when you're not reading it: Are they doing ok? What are they doing now? It's about Jane, a primary school teacher who moves to a small town in Michigan and meets Duncan, the local furniture restorer and handyman - who has also slept with most of the local women. They hook up the day they meet and will remain in one another's lives f This is a gorgeous, warm, funny novel set in a small Michigan town that channels Anne Tyler vibes. It's one of those books when you keep thinking about the characters when you're not reading it: Are they doing ok? What are they doing now? It's about Jane, a primary school teacher who moves to a small town in Michigan and meets Duncan, the local furniture restorer and handyman - who has also slept with most of the local women. They hook up the day they meet and will remain in one another's lives for the rest of the book. Jane is the focus of the novel and it follows her over the coming years. This is the second book I've read by Katherine Heiny (the first was Standard Deviation). Neither book has a strong plot but the characters are rounded and wonderful. You ache when they have setbacks and smile when things go right for them. It wasn't wondering what would happen next that had me picking this up as much as wanting to spend more time with Jane and Duncan and Jimmy and the rest of the crew. Again like Anne Tyler's books, sometimes they are quirky to the point of being slightly absurd, but you still enjoy them. Heiny has a lovely sense of humour in her writing, not so much laugh out loud funny, more smiling to yourself. I particularly loved the sections when Jane is in the classroom and corralling her lively children (different children each year but similar patterns and issues). While this is undoubtably a warm fuzzy read, it also makes you think about the nature of family and who becomes your family. It's simply lovely, a strong 4.5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley and 4th Estate for the ARC.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Spadge Nunn

    The slowest book I’ve read in a long time. That fact might suit other readers more than me. Set in a small town, the book follows the lives of Jane and Duncan, an unlikely couple who have their ups and downs, (mostly because Duncan has already slept with nearly every woman in town). It’s the kind of unremarkable plot where you wonder how the author (Heiny) decided where to end it. I was left with a bit of a confused, unsatisfied feeling once it was done, which only added to the slog of completing The slowest book I’ve read in a long time. That fact might suit other readers more than me. Set in a small town, the book follows the lives of Jane and Duncan, an unlikely couple who have their ups and downs, (mostly because Duncan has already slept with nearly every woman in town). It’s the kind of unremarkable plot where you wonder how the author (Heiny) decided where to end it. I was left with a bit of a confused, unsatisfied feeling once it was done, which only added to the slog of completing it. It just wasn’t for me. If you’re looking for a slow paced book where you get to know a lot of local characters and their criss-crossed lives within a small town, you might enjoy dipping in and out - or even reading yourself to sleep! A big bonus was the beautiful way in which Heiny describes Jane’s love towards Duncan, such as how much she hates missing out when they’re not together… Favourite quote: “Jane noticed that he had new lines around his mouth. Just imagine: lines carved by experiences that Jane knew nothing about.” Thank you to NetGalley for the arc. Early Morning Riser will be out on the 15th of April, 2021.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    A global pandemic, a Republican party that's trying to destroy what democracy there is in our country, fires ravaging the West and filling the air with poisonous smoke... I really needed a pleasant escape. I've read Katherine Heiny's two previous books, and they were perfect, just what I needed, so I was delighted that I saw this digital ARC was available from Edelweiss (thanks, Edelweiss. I needed that). Katherine Heiny's work reminds me of David Sedaris's memoirs- so absolutely laugh-out-loud f A global pandemic, a Republican party that's trying to destroy what democracy there is in our country, fires ravaging the West and filling the air with poisonous smoke... I really needed a pleasant escape. I've read Katherine Heiny's two previous books, and they were perfect, just what I needed, so I was delighted that I saw this digital ARC was available from Edelweiss (thanks, Edelweiss. I needed that). Katherine Heiny's work reminds me of David Sedaris's memoirs- so absolutely laugh-out-loud funny- but within a very engaging work of fiction. Her appreciation of human foibles reminds me of Anne Tyler, but she's even funnier and definitely sexier. This one tells the story of Jane, who has just moved to a small Michigan town to take a job as a 2nd grade teacher. She meets Duncan, who looks like the Marlboro Man and who REALLY likes women-- and has slept with most of the women in town. Jane figures it's just going to be a passing thing, which breaks her heart a little, but then an accident changes everything. Jane and Duncan are at the center of this story, but this author has a gift for telling funny stories that bring to life all kinds of characters, the kids in Jane's class, Duncan's ex-wife, who knows the best way to do everything, Jane's selfish and hilariously annoying mother. I don't laugh out loud at books all that often, but Heiny's books have me throwing back my head and really laughing throughout, and they're sweet and poignant and honest, too. I just loved this book and it was exactly the pleasurable escape I needed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chantelle Hazelden

    I was very grateful when 4th Estate approved me to read Early Morning Riser. Having not read anything from the author before, the blurb intrigued me and the front cover sealed it for me. The story tells us about a small town in the US, about the goings on in every day life in this inconsequential place. This is a tale of friendship, of relationships, of hardships. I said to someone when they asked how I was finding it enjoyable but it was quite a change of pace to the books I've read recently. I gue I was very grateful when 4th Estate approved me to read Early Morning Riser. Having not read anything from the author before, the blurb intrigued me and the front cover sealed it for me. The story tells us about a small town in the US, about the goings on in every day life in this inconsequential place. This is a tale of friendship, of relationships, of hardships. I said to someone when they asked how I was finding it enjoyable but it was quite a change of pace to the books I've read recently. I guess I'd say it is relaxed in its approach but really makes you pause to think about certain things. We follow Jane and her journey to essentially being happy with her lot. Not all is plan sailing, her relationship with Duncan’s which also happened to involve his Ex wife and her new husband, as well as all of his previous girlfriends who they couldn't seem to avoid. My favourite character had to be Duncan’s work colleague Jimmy, he was misunderstood but loved by all and I really adored how people cared for him and how he (in his own way) cared for them right back. This novel is quietly comedic. Filled with wit and real hearty feels. Not a typical love story but no less heartwarming. Gentle, tender and loveable is how I'd describe Early Morning Riser. Funnily enough I did read a lot of this in the early hours and it was comforting at that time of the day.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I adore Katherine Heiny's work so much. I found "Standard Deviation" by accident (just randomly started reading a library copy last year) but quickly realized that she is my favorite kind of writer: warm, engaging, wise about all kinds of life-truths, and utterly hilarious. Because I loved S.D., and practically gulped down "Single, Carefree, Mellow" (her books of short stories) in one sitting, I literally raced to the bookstore to pick up a copy of her latest *on its release date* and guess what I adore Katherine Heiny's work so much. I found "Standard Deviation" by accident (just randomly started reading a library copy last year) but quickly realized that she is my favorite kind of writer: warm, engaging, wise about all kinds of life-truths, and utterly hilarious. Because I loved S.D., and practically gulped down "Single, Carefree, Mellow" (her books of short stories) in one sitting, I literally raced to the bookstore to pick up a copy of her latest *on its release date* and guess what? It did not disappoint. Heiny's characters are both realistic and lovable - even the aggravating ones (I saw myself in Aggie in about a hundred different ways) and the whole story, the setting, the pacing (years go by in a flash, just like they do in reality) the OMG-this-is-so-true humor - it's all just perfection. Jane and Duncan meet cute in the beginning, but unlike many other romantic comedies, that's more the backdrop to the story than the story itself. Their household is unusual but there's not a huge amount of action - regular life is the action here, with all of its ups and downs - but still, I couldn't put it down. If you enjoy quirky realistic fiction, you'll love "Early Morning Riser". Highly recommend.

  23. 5 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    REALLY enjoyed this one! Told over the span of 17 years, this story follows Jane, a second grade teacher who moves to Boyne City, Michigan (pop. 3,000) and quickly falls for Duncan, the local lothario with a HUGE heart. What follows is their up and down relationship, a heartbreaking accident that alters the course of Jane's life forever and an overall heartwarming story of small town life told with humorous insights and a lovely cast of secondary characters you can't help but love. The story als REALLY enjoyed this one! Told over the span of 17 years, this story follows Jane, a second grade teacher who moves to Boyne City, Michigan (pop. 3,000) and quickly falls for Duncan, the local lothario with a HUGE heart. What follows is their up and down relationship, a heartbreaking accident that alters the course of Jane's life forever and an overall heartwarming story of small town life told with humorous insights and a lovely cast of secondary characters you can't help but love. The story also very much revolves around Jimmy, a developmentally delayed, young man who the whole town looks out for and I LOVED the relationship he has with both Jane and Duncan. Katherine Heiny does an amazing job creating characters that are equally flawed and undeniably kind. This was just a giant feel-good read I didn't know I needed right now - completely worthy of all the praise its getting and I HIGHLY recommend it! Favorite quotes: "Only the very best mothers drank alcohol at one in the afternoon while their children napped in cars. She had to remember that." "Sometimes, she thought, being with her mother was like crossing a desert - long, hot stretches of burning sand that exhausted you, but every once in a while you happened on a little oasis of kindness." CW: death of a parent, car accident

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Jackson

    Honestly I got to this sentence on page eleven and wow, that’s a big no for me. “This was not the night Jane got drunk enough to ask Frieda if it was true she hadn’t ever had sex with anyone, even a drunk migrant worker, but Jane felt strongly that such a night was in her future.” Uh, even a drunk migrant worker what now?! Very much no thank you. And then we get the part with the mentally retarded character? Confusing candy and EATING glass? What on actual earth NOPE. And then this! OH WOW: “Jane Honestly I got to this sentence on page eleven and wow, that’s a big no for me. “This was not the night Jane got drunk enough to ask Frieda if it was true she hadn’t ever had sex with anyone, even a drunk migrant worker, but Jane felt strongly that such a night was in her future.” Uh, even a drunk migrant worker what now?! Very much no thank you. And then we get the part with the mentally retarded character? Confusing candy and EATING glass? What on actual earth NOPE. And then this! OH WOW: “Jane looked more closely at the woman and saw that it wasn’t accurate to say she was large. She had a wide face, which automatically made you assume she had a wide body, too, but in fact her figure was exceptional,” WELL THANK GOD SHES NOT WIDE EVERYONE KNOWS A WIDE BODY ISNT EXCEPTIONAL BUT SHE ISNT WIDE BODIED FRIENDS HER TRICKY WIDE FACE JUST TRICKED US. Not a large body! Not a wide body! Therefore! An exceptional body. Got it. Just to be clear: in the Venn Diagram of Body Judging, wide/large and exceptional DO NOT INTERSECT. EVEN A DRUNK MIGRANT WORKER. What. On. Earth. I would light a kindle on fire if I could.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Greer- Hansen

    This book had me laughing out loud from the cover to the last chapter. It was witty and long winded but it had such great prose that I found myself re-reading a couple of parts. It was a tale of a non-traditional family using sarcasm and it drew you in with the lovable chapters. Family isn’t always who you choose; sometimes you pick up a few misfits along the way. Heart pulling moments and times you laughed at the ridiculous of it all. Talented author that can stir so many emotions. “She could on This book had me laughing out loud from the cover to the last chapter. It was witty and long winded but it had such great prose that I found myself re-reading a couple of parts. It was a tale of a non-traditional family using sarcasm and it drew you in with the lovable chapters. Family isn’t always who you choose; sometimes you pick up a few misfits along the way. Heart pulling moments and times you laughed at the ridiculous of it all. Talented author that can stir so many emotions. “She could only stare at the faint rainbow that had appeared where Duncan was spraying water. Odd how rainbows could keep appearing when there was so much evil in the world that Jane could hardly comprehend it.” “How could Duncan not realise that every time you feel in love and it didn’t work out, it scraped out a little piece of you, like scooping up a piece of cantaloupe with a melon baller, and there are only so many times before those scoop marks started to show? Then in really no time at all, your heart could be a cold, pockmarked stone.” Coming your way Alysha!!!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Ready for a light-hearted tale with quirky characters? Enjoy the delightful 26-year-old Jane who falls for Duncan, a man in his early forties who loves women. And women seem to love him—including Jane. How does this charming 2nd grade teacher compete with Duncan’s beautiful ex-wife Aggie, or all of his other former paramours in the small town of Boyne City (located in the northern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula). Jane also has to deal with her mother who blurts out unfiltered comments at the Ready for a light-hearted tale with quirky characters? Enjoy the delightful 26-year-old Jane who falls for Duncan, a man in his early forties who loves women. And women seem to love him—including Jane. How does this charming 2nd grade teacher compete with Duncan’s beautiful ex-wife Aggie, or all of his other former paramours in the small town of Boyne City (located in the northern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula). Jane also has to deal with her mother who blurts out unfiltered comments at the most inopportune moments, her mandolin-playing best friend Frieda, and learning-disabled Jimmy. Enjoy how Jane deals with her 2nd grade students that have their own distinctive personalities. [Clearly, we don’t pay our teachers enough!]

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Beverly

    Early Morning Riser is about life and love in a small town. Jane falls for Duncan soon after moving to a new town, but then finds out he’s the town lush. What follows is Jane’s life as she tries to make sense of it all – life, love, grief – and as she comes to terms with wanting things she cannot have. In the wake of tragedy Jane discovers what really matters most. It is a sweet and lovely tale that I couldn’t put down! The characters are lush and charming, even as they sometimes drive you crazy Early Morning Riser is about life and love in a small town. Jane falls for Duncan soon after moving to a new town, but then finds out he’s the town lush. What follows is Jane’s life as she tries to make sense of it all – life, love, grief – and as she comes to terms with wanting things she cannot have. In the wake of tragedy Jane discovers what really matters most. It is a sweet and lovely tale that I couldn’t put down! The characters are lush and charming, even as they sometimes drive you crazy. Highly recommended for lovers of sweet, realistic, beautifully written stories.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sandrine V

    It’s a sweet book (which has had so much hype!), but I found it hard to follow and preferred Heiny’s Standard Deviation. Sometimes it covered an event so briefly - like I didn’t even realize Jane gave birth to a second child- that I could hardly notice what had happened. I enjoyed how caring the characters were with one another (especially with Jimmy), I think that was the best part of the novel for me.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anbolyn

    Such a quirky, heartwarming novel with an offbeat sense of humor that made me laugh out loud. Really enjoyable.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kats

    I actually really liked this book; it’s top quality chick-lit written with warmth, lovely characters and good humour. One scene - inwhich an 80 something year old tells her son-in-law about the upsides of menopause and how her “flow” used to bother her - actually had me laugh out loud, it was so uncomfortable, even for me.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.