Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
In the second installment of her contemporary Austen-inspired series Abigail Reynolds brings readers back to the charming seaside village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts and paints a love story full of passion and pathos. A story about second chances, finding happiness, and healing. In Morning Light readers are introduced to Annie Wright, a widowed young woman with a sad and painful past, and Jeremy Matthiesen, a man who, after ten years of forced separation, is back again in Annie’s life and trying to tear down the barriers that surround her heart.
Since Annie is neighbors with Cassie and Calder (the hero and heroine from Pemberley By the Sea/The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice) readers can expect to see a lot of them and the Westing clan in this novel. I enjoyed “staying in touch” with Cassie and Calder as well as witnessing the new drama and developments in their lives. I found that it worked well to have a second prominent story-line in this novel and that Abigail Reynolds divided her time between the two couples quite successfully and skillfully.
To me, Morning Light, felt like an homage to Anne Elliot (no, this story is not a modern-day Persuasion). I found many similarities between Annie Wright and Anne Elliot – they are both independent thinkers; they both know what it feels like to be overlooked and undervalued; they both are quiet, motherless, and constantly showing selfless concern for others. I think Annie Wright and Anne Elliot are cut from the same cloth and while Annie was not persuaded by others to give up the love of her life – she did persuade herself that she was unloved and that Jeremy was untrustworthy.
What I also loved about Morning Light was that it surprised me…there were a couple of shocked gasps and “oh-my-goodness-I-did-not-see-that-coming” moments. And as is her nature, Abigail Reynolds throws in plenty of misunderstandings and miscommunications for our couple to suffer through, I quite enjoyed the tension and angst of it all! I also appreciated bearing witness to Annie’s sad past and pain, it lent a deeper understanding to her character and created a beautiful story of healing and overcoming grief.
One thing I am especially enjoying about this series is that it is reflective of Abigail Reynolds. Woods Hole, marine biology, dogs, art, psychiatry, a character who writes novels – it was fun to spot all the parallels, professions, and interests various characters shared with the author.
Evocative, empathetic, and extremely readable – Morning Light is a beautifully deep and emotional read! I think I love Abigail Reynolds’s contemporary romances just as much as I do her Pride and Prejudice variations! Looking forward to my next visit to Woods Hole!
Warning: This book has several romantic scenes and is recommend for Mature Audiences only.
Recommendation: Read Pemberley By the Sea/The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice before reading Morning Light.