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Shades of Morning: A Novel Kindle Edition

57 customer reviews

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Length: 354 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Book and coffee shop owner Marnie Wittier lives on the opposite end of the country from where she grew up; she needs that much distance from her past. But her past won't stay away; her estranged sister, Rose, dies and Marnie is named guardian of Rose's 15-year-old son, Emmit, who has Down syndrome. Another complication: Rose's attorney is Taylor Cole, whom Marnie once loved. The complicated family history unreels in the narrative, alternating with Marnie's learning to cope with the sweet and very challenging Emmit. Schalesky leavens a story that could be sad with friendly, quirky touches: Marnie's customers, her iguana Max. Some devices seem contrived: Marnie's box of memorabilia that signifies major life events, the cute meeting between Marnie and Taylor. But Christy-award winning Schalesky (Beyond the Night) has a good feel for psychological complexity. And a reader won't see the nice twist at the end coming until it hits like the California earthquake that opens the book. The story's not 100% plausible, but it's satisfying and charming. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Praise for
Shades of Morning

“Will Marnie and Taylor, torn apart sixteen years ago, find a way to overcome, seemingly impossible, barriers and find happiness? Shades of Morning, superbly crafted by veteran author, Marlo Schalesky, presents a sense of family and love that will touch the reader's soul.  The book is a memorable journey into a woman's heart and the lessons she learns about real family loyalty.  Reader, prepare yourself for a surprise ending!”
— Irene Brand, best-selling author of Love Finds You in Valentine, Nebraska and Made for Each Other

Shades of Morning is magical! Full of the wonder of love, true love. It surprised me on every page. I loved it!”
— Deborah Raney, author of Almost Forever and the Clayburn Novels 

 “Each of Marlo Schalesky’s inspirationally unique stories are “like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re gonna get” and Shades of Morning is no exception. From the first page, I fell for the beautifully drawn and flawed characters, and by the end, I wanted to hug them, especially Emmit. What an angel.” 
— Tamara Leigh, author of Nowhere, Carolina and Leaving Carolina

Shades of Morning is a gripping story of grace and forgiveness in the face of years of secrets, half-truths, and running. Yet it is so much more. Marnie and Tyler became people I cared about from the opening pages, yet I wondered how the tangled web of their past could ever unravel to show the promise of a future. And the image of God revealed in the prose speaks to me even now after I’ve reached the end.”
—    Cara C. Putman, author of Cornhusker Dreams and Stars in the Night

“Poignant. Heartfelt. Compelling. This latest novel by Marlo Scha...

Product Details

  • File Size: 787 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books; 1 edition (June 9, 2010)
  • Publication Date: June 15, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036S4C02
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,440,720 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Besides writing books that I hope you'll buy (!), I also run an engineering firm and have recently earned my Masters degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Originally, I was a research chemist (I got my bachelor's degree in chemistry at Stanford University in 1988), but I always knew I wanted to write. So, I'm grateful to be weaving stories that whisper of grace, of mystery, and of surprise. Find out more about me at or like my Facebook page at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Kelly on July 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a story of love, loss and family secrets. Marnie had moved to California 16 years ago and opened a book/coffee shop. She thought that secrets of her past were just that, secrets, until she gets a letter from a lawyer she knew from her past, telling her that her sister,Rose, had died in a freak accident and that she was now guardian of a 15 year old nephew, that she did not know she had. Marnie has no desire to be a guardian or parent of anyone, let alone a nephew that turns out has Down's Syndrome. Marnie has a box called her 'regrets' box that she has used for momentos and slips of paper of memories and regrets that she would like to forget. Emmitt keeps opening this box and with his insistence Marnie is able to face the regrets and sorrows that this box contains.Emmitt proves to be a handful and Marnie is stressed to the breaking point trying to do the right thing by Emmitt and still run her business. Marnies life is turned upside down what with having no clue how to take care of a Down's child and deal with the secrets of her past which include Taylor Cole, her sister's lawyer. Taylor had once been a man that Marnie had loved and it is because of this love that Marnie flee's across the country. As time goes by Emmitt and Taylor work their way to her heart and she learns to find the love that she thought she would never know again. Her faith in God has been tested over the years and Marnie is not sure what she should believe in. The ending, which of course I will not write about as that would spoil the story for the reader, I was totally unprepared for. Needless to say the whole story comes together in the end. I feel that Emmitt restores her faith and she is able to do what is necessary to find and keep the love she thought was lost to her. I really enjoyed this story and like I said was very surprised at the ending..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nora A. Stlaurent on July 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
"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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TAMARA CONNER on July 21, 2010
Format: Paperback

Marnie Wittier has life just where she wants it. Quiet. Peaceful. No drama. A long way away from her past. In the privacy of her home, she fills a box with slips of paper, scribbled with her regrets, sins, and sorrows. But that's nobody else's business. Her bookstore/coffee shop patrons, her employees, her friends from church--they all think she's the very model of compassion and kindness.

Then Marnie's past creeps into her present when her estranged sister dies and makes Marnie guardian of her fifteen-year-old son--a boy Marnie never knew existed. And when Emmit arrives, she discovers he has Down syndrome--and that she's woefully unprepared to care for him. What's worse, she has to deal with Taylor Cole, her sister's attorney, a man Marnie once loved--and abandoned. As Emmit (and Taylor) work their way into her heart, Marnie begins to heal. But when pieces of her dismal past surface again, she must at last face the scripts of paper in her box, all the regrets and sorrows. Can she do it? Or will she run again?

Author Bio:

Marlo Schalesky is the author of several books, including Beyond the Night and Empty Womb, Aching Heart. A graduate of Stanford University , Marlo also has a masters of theology with an emphasis in biblical studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. Married over twenty years, she lives with her husband, Bryan, and their five children in California .

My Thoughts:

What an unbelievably great book!! Heart-wrenching - to say the least!! I was hesitant that this book was going to be very good. Guess that proves you don't judge a book by its cover. This is such a beautiful story about a young woman out on her own finding her way after having many hurts in her life.
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