Morning Light by Holland Kane

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Not light reading. Not at all. 
About Morning Light by Holland Kane: 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.
My two cents

Emily is young and beautiful; she is a choreographer and dancer. Her husband Rick loves her ... but is going through a dilemma-of-sorts, his extreme Roman Catholic faith (or is it blind belief in a priest he idolizes?) gets him on an abstinence kick, much to Emily's dismay.

Not that Emily has a lot her on plate already: her dear friend and mentor Sara is battling cancer and she is choreographing her next major piece for her big debut. David, Sara's teenage son, becomes Emily's distraction and she succumbs, making him her lover. What does this action hold for Emily and Rick's marriage? How will besotted David get over Emily? What does the future hold?

***

This is beautiful storytelling! I found especially intriguing (and well-done) how this was told in retrospect -- the successful theatre director David is telling his love story and musing upon Emily's actions and feelings, including his insights into some of Emily's diary entries.

One highlight is that I found the descriptions of creating art and dance very engrossing. Dancers and art lovers will surely enjoy Kane's appreciation of the rapture (and disappointment) of creating anything of beauty.

The subject matter is heavily laden with hot buttons: religion, sex with a minor, pornography, adultery. This is heavy stuff. There are some sections which turned into some rather dense rambling and if you're not in the mood for that, this may grate on your nerves. Otherwise I think the book does a wonderful job of showcasing various religious, ethical and moral dilemma, and how it can potentially impact people's lives over the long haul. Hold any judgement and I think you'll be fine.


***

Verdict: Unfolding as a retrospective, this book will prod, poke and challenge you. I'd recommend this to people who like Jodie Picoult's ethically challenging tales, and those who have a soft spot for dance and art.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

 

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7 comments :

  1. This sounds very interesting. I'm tired of dystopia so I'm giving this a try.

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    1. It's definitely different from my usual fare. I haven't been reading much dystopia (except for The Last Policeman Book 2 ... which was very good :)!

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  2. I read this one for review as well. I loved Emily's passion that came through but the religious ranting bogged down the flow of the story for me. I enjoyed your review!

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    1. I didn't know you'd read this! Yeah, the religious ranting can get a bit much. But I read this over a stretch so I felt I could deal with it ...

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  3. This one sounds interesting and different from anything I've ever read before! I just added it on Goodreads - thanks for the recommendation!

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  4. Sounds interesting! I do love some Jodi Picoult in my life (she's a guilty pleasure read of mine) and this looks right up my alley. Thanks for the rec :)

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  5. This book sounds intense and intriguing! I like emotional reads but I usually have to be in a certain mood for them. I might have to check this one out sometime!

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