Early Morning Riser: a Novel

Early Morning Riser: a Novel

Days are getting longer, and the sun shines over people’s heads; the air is starting to be fresh but not cold anymore, and the sparrows sing symphonies while nature is blossoming. On days like these, all that is missing is a good book, a bright, colorful, funny book like “Early Morning Riser”; a book that tastes like spring.

This sweet novel was published in 2021 by the writer Katherine Heiny, who is known to be an author who likes to put always has a little bit of humor, but also a lesson to learn in all her books. “Early morning Riser” is no less.

The book starts picturing a young teacher called Jane, who has just moved from a big city to the small town of Boyne City.

Everything seems to be right, and the happy goal of moving to this quiet new place in Michigan and teaching at the local elementary school is finally achieved.

 However, life has always had different plans. And so, only a month after her new start, she locks herself out of the house and gets to meet the fascinating locksmith Duncan, who is going to shake her existence.

It doesn’t really matter to Jane that she is 26 and he’s in his early forties, because looking at his brown eyes with amber flecks one time is enough to fall in love with him. Their attraction is so natural that right after their first meeting. They fall into bed for the whole weekend, and it’s during this time that they get to know each other better.

First, he learns that Jane is funny, and the author does a really good job showing to the readers all her humor. Jane is not the narrative voice yet for the whole novel, yet at times you have the sensation of being inside her creative, determined, and generous mind. 

Duncan is a handsome and kind character; he is easygoing and extremely social. He is so social that he had relationships with almost every woman in Boyne City and a failed marriage with a peppery character named Aggie. 

At the end of the day, Duncan might not be what Jane expected, but, as I already said, life likes to surprise you. Therefore, she opens her heart to her lover and this new experience.

This decision, however, is going to bring Jane many challenges, like dealing with the presence of Duncan’s ex-wife and her new husband, who is more like her new puppy. On top of all that, Duncan had a coworker named Jimmy who became an orphan during the course of the book. 

Because of a mental disability, he cannot take care of himself. Jane feels she must help him, so much so that she invites him to live under their roof.

It is from passages like this that you can understand how wonderful Jane is, and what makes her so great is a good balance of strength and sensibility, two characteristics that are mistakenly described as opposing and contrasting in today’s world. She is often demoralized, but she never gives up.

The book covers an interval of time of 17 years, and during this period, many things happen and change, but it’s comforting to see that the story always revolves around the same people, even if they obviously evolve as well.

“Early Morning Riser” is mainly Jane’s story, but her soul is too self-sacrificing to be a story that talks only about her. 

However, sometimes, I felt pity for this woman because she always ends up paying the consequences of the actions of the ones she loves. 

The series of unfortunate events that happened in Jimmy’s life, for example, was certainly not her fault, as well as many other things in the story, yet she takes charge of all that. 

Maybe if she had a little more “healthy selfishness” she would have experienced less pain, but these are the side effects of having an unlimited heart.