Friday, July 02, 2010

Marlo Schalesky's Shades of Morning ~ Reviewed

By Marlo Schalesky
Published by Multnomah
338 Pages

Back Cover:

When her sister dies unexpectedly and leaves behind a 15-year-old Down’s syndrome son, Marnie's world comes unhinged---and her past collides with the present. As she struggles to find healing and forgiveness, a man arrives, determined to destroy her. Will she face the consequences of decisions made a decade earlier---or will she run again?


“Some people were meant to love. Others only watched from the outside….because once, a long time ago, she had a single chance to love. One glimmering impossible opportunity. And she’d blown it. Big time.”

Today Marnie meets her sisters’ child for the first time. He’s fifteen and has Downs’s syndrome. How could her sister Rose, keep a secret like this? Taylor, the executor of her sister’s will and former friend was asking the impossible; she couldn’t raise Rose’s son, Emmit. Marnie was single and had a coffee shop to run, people depended on her. Her life was full, and no room for anything else. But the longer Emmit stayed and the more she learned about him, a surprising thing happened. Marnie realizes she needs him. “Emmit was showing her the way home. He was showing her how to trust,” in people and in God again.

Taylor realizes he has his own struggles with God and Marnie….”God, who wanted him to let go. God, who had never stopped pursuing him. God, who wanted the past for Himself.” Why couldn’t he let go? What was he afraid of?

I’m so glad I received a review copy of this amazing, powerful, heartfelt story. Marlo has a talent to captivate you from the start and immediately draw on your heart strings, because her characters are believable and they deal with circumstances beyond themselves. I felt for Emmit’s situation as he was forced to live with an Aunt he’d never met.

This author captures the endearing qualities of Emmit and the real issues he struggles with being a Down’s syndrome teenager, but at the same time you’ll see the simple way he views life and knows what’s important. He hopes Marnie realizes it before it’s too late. I was absolutely taken in by Emmit praising God in church, how he loved life and I laughed at his obsession with doughnuts!

When you meet Emmit and get to know him, you won’t look at another Downs’ syndrome child the same. I highly recommend this novel. The story and its characters will stay with you long after the last page is read.

Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent
The Book Club Network

Bonus Review:

Marlo Schalesky has a lovely way with words which can be experienced in her latest love story with a twist, Shades of Morning. Wary and jaded on the outside, Marnie's heart for others can be seen in the selfless things she does for others but her generosity is tested when she is forced to care for her late sister's son. Challenged by Emmit's Downs Syndrome and the fact it brings Taylor Cole back into her life after fifteen years of silence, Marnie's journey is awkward and moving with an ending I thought I saw coming but clearly didn't! A tender story of broken faith, wounded souls and the freedom of unconditional love, Shades of Morning challenges us to choose love and to forgive.

Reviewed by Rel Mollet

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