Early Morning Riser

by Katherine Heiny

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Family Drama Literary Fiction Book Club Recommendations Star Books Feel-Good Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Early Morning Riser

Set in an endearingly eccentric small-town American community, this absolute treasure will have you smiling as it warms your soul to the core.

Tender and comic, with a devilishly addictive wry tone and incredibly drawn characters, reading Katherine Heiny's Early Morning Riser is akin to being transported to the beating heart of an eccentric, entirely relatable small-town community. It really does make for a headily blissful reading experience, as befits a story that delves deep into the heart of all forms of love and human connections.

Despite having had a whole lot of girlfriends who are everywhere around town (and beyond), Jane can’t help but fall for charismatic woodworker Duncan, though she’s less happy about the constant presence of his ex-wife, and it look like their love might be lost when he says he has no intention of getting married a second time. Then, a tragic accident sees them reunite in a way that will transform their lives forever, when they’re brought together with Jimmy, Duncan’s developmentally-challenged employee, in a truly unexpected, wondrous way.

Witty, with exquisitely fitting, perfectly-placed imagery, such as this evocation of Jane snatching a moment of peace on the fraught eve of her ill-fated wedding day, “The sky was lavender-colored now. The sun had set, but the light lingered, like a child reluctant to go to bed”, Early Morning Riser is a magical, absorbing feat of fiction, and incredibly funny with it.

Joanne Owen

Early Morning Riser Synopsis

Jane easily falls in love with Duncan: he's charming, good-natured, and handsome. He has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan.

Jane sees Duncan's old girlfriends everywhere – at restaurants, at the grocery store, even three towns away. While she may be able to come to terms with dating the world's most prolific seducer of women, she wishes she didn't have to share him quite so widely. His ex-wife, Aggie, still has Duncan mow her lawn. And his coworker Jimmy comes and goes from Duncan's apartment at the most inopportune times. Jane wonders how the relationship is supposed to work with all these people in it. But any notion Jane has of love and marriage changes with one tragic accident. Now her life is permanently intertwined with Duncan's, Aggie's, and Jimmy's, and she knows she will never have Duncan to herself. But is it possible that a deeper kind of happiness is right in front of her eyes?

A novel that is alternately bittersweet and laugh-out-loud funny, Early Morning Riser is Katherine Heiny's most astonishingly wonderful work to date.

What To Read After Early Morning Riser

The Twelve Wishes of Christmas
The Christmas Bookshop
A Special Cornish Christmas
Double Booked

Katherine Heiny Press Reviews

'Gorgeous. Very, very funny, but so tender, so beautiful. I loved all the characters, I cared deeply' Marian Keyes, author of Grown Ups

'Glorious. I love how it evokes the rhythm of life in all its joy and ordinariness and chaos. I loved the dialogue, the relationships. I love the one-liners, the humour, the gorgeous detail, the food, the innermost thoughts, and the love.' Nina Stibbe, author of Reasons to Be Cheerful

'Charming and tender, an offbeat and original gem that cracks your heart wide open' Pandora Sykes, author of How Do We Know We're Doing It Right?

'Wise, sad and barkingly funny.

Katherine Heiny writes brilliantly about what we mean by the word 'family' and her novel is loving without being soppy and warm without being cosy - I didn't want it to end' Lissa Evans, author of V for Victory

'Katherine Heiny's books feel like spending time with a smart, funny and beloved friend who always has a million interesting things to talk about but always wants to know about you, too. She is a charming and insightful and unique writer and Early Morning Riser is every bit as good as Standard Deviation, if not better' Lisa Jewell, author of Invisible Girl

'Warm, witty, touching - and frequently hilarious' David Nicholls, author of Sweet Sorrow

'Heaven. Everything I have ever craved in a novel' Daisy Buchannan, author of Insatiable

'Heiny has smart and serious things to say about care and responsibility, even as she keeps things bubbly with a steady stream of comedy provided by the novel's gossipy close-knit community' DAILY MAIL

'Early Morning Riser is tender, funny and affecting, a charming friend of a book to ease the Covid blues' THE BIG ISSUE

'It's a heart-warming tale of flawed, fragile, funny characters who battle unruly emotions and disappointments to seize the chance of happiness when it comes their way' DAILY EXPRESS

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780008395131
Publication date: 31/03/2022
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780008395100
Publication date: 15/04/2021
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780008395094
Publication date: 15/04/2021
Format: Hardback

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About Katherine Heiny

Katherine Heiny's fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Narrative, Glimmer Train, and many other places. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and children. This is her first book.

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