I received this book for free from Publicist for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.Morning Light Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“Emily, a twenty-four-year-old dancer and choreographer, confronts her husband’s fixation with right-wing Catholic dogma that condemns her use of birth control. His faith is so powerful that he refuses to have sex with her, even though he desperately wants to. As awful as this broken faith feels, she is troubled more by her best friend’s losing fight with cancer, and seeks to help her friend’s grief-stricken, precocious, son-the seventeen-year-old David. But the boy’s willful ways turn the tables on her. Denied intimacy by her husband, the boy’s passion asserts itself, and everyone’s life is explosively altered. Twenty years later, the successful David, a theater director, gets his hands on Emily’s secret journals and uncovers her covert emotional life, revealing family secrets unknown to him, and discovering prickly truths about himself. Part literary memoir, part poignant psychological drama, this haunting love story explores the secrets of attraction and the mysteries of obsession-a boy’s coming-of-age, and one woman’s search for love and success in a year of intense achievement and painful loss.”
Overall I had a difficult time getting through this book. While the story sounded promising and full of religious and ethical dilemmas, I did not emotionally connect to the characters. Emily, while beautiful physically, was a very confused 24-year old dancer/choreographer. The men in the book all desperately lust after her but I don’t feel like she really loved any of them, even her husband.
David, the 17-year old that Emily becomes guardian of when her best friend passes away, is the narrator of the story. He desires and obsesses over Emily, his actions decided by how it will impact her. While he describes the journals, I did not get how he got them or that it was 20 years after the fact. David also rants as he criticizes and questions the Catholic faith, I’d understand his points but it was a little overdone and would take away from my interest and the progression of the story.
What I did enjoy about the book was the author’s writing about Emily and her dancing. He really conveyed beautifully her lyrical style and the passion that Emily had for her art, how she transformed her body to portray her thoughts and feelings.
I also enjoyed the honesty and the struggle many people go through with being faithful to their religion. While some grow up with blind faith, for others, finding faith is a journey full of questions, introspection and soul-searching. I converted to Catholicism as an adult, and I cherished the process. I still have questions but feel stronger in my faith because I chose it and found a deeper, peaceful and more fulfilling understanding of the faith my husband grew up with.
“But she wanted to avoid the whispered secrets told in the intimate shadows I was offering. She wanted to use her vitality to transcend darkness; she wanted to dance with clarity and light, and anything as unruly as desire got in the way.” (location 189-191)
“Converts to Catholocism can learn to love God in the same way, starting with small, private moments and expanding love for Him from panel to panel until He enters the inner soul.” (location 1752-1754)
“I explained that Maya is a word used to describe a sensory illusion that transcends life to reach spiritual lightness. Lightness is the ideal, not heaviness or pain or torture. Bigger is not better, and size doesn’t count in this spiritual world. “The name predates Christianity by two thousand years.”” (location 2206-2208)
Are you active in an organized religion? Did you grow up with it or choose it? How do you get through books that are hard to finish? Happy reading!