Jillian James has been a wanderer as long as she can remember, traveling from town to town, never
staying too long in any one place. Not running to or from anything, or hiding out. Just drifting...the way
she was taught as a child by her nomadic single father, a man who liked to travel and went wherever the
jobs took him, never putting down roots or getting involved for too long with anyone. And Jillian is the
same way—no strings anywhere, no place to call home. And no one to call family, not since she last saw
her father the day he dropped her off at college—before disappearing from her life completely. But now,
twelve years later, Jillian is hoping to find some trace of him in the only place she believes he ever had a
special connection—the small, welcoming town of Laurel Springs, Texas.
Soon after arriving, Jillian lands a temporary job courtesy of Connor Larady, a man of many hats—town
mayor, land owner, newspaper publisher, unpublished novelist and, most important, devoted single dad to
his rebellious teenaged daughter, Sunnie, and doting grandson to Eugenia Larady, better known to
everyone as Gram. Connor hires Jillian to help out in aging Gram’s quilt shop, cataloguing and preserving
each quilt’s history, just as Gram starts struggling with her own slipping memory.
Despite her better judgment, Jillian soon finds herself growing closer to each of the Laradys: helping
Sunnie cope with a tragic past while struggling to figure out what she wants from her future; spending
time with the shy, handsome Connor while knowing that any romance between them will only end in
sadness when she eventually leaves; and connecting with the lovely Gram, a woman who is the heart of
the entire town, building literal and invisible threads throughout the community--and whose fading
memories and occasional flashbacks, a shocked Jillian realizes, contain clues to her own family history.
Jillian has spent her life avoiding attachments. According to her father’s rules, it hurts too much to care.
But for the first time in her life, she’s starting to wonder if his rules are wrong, if it’s better to be part of
something greater than just herself—part of a community, of a family, of loving someone.
Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas April 10, 2018 • Trade paperback original • HQN • 384 pages • ISBN 978-1-335-06295-6 • $15.99 U.S./$19.99 CAN.
Mornings On Main is a story of generations of loving, living, and surviving. It is filled with an intriguing history of the people in town, reflecting the times they have lived, and bringing a warm, comforting gust of past into the current, contemporary world.
Jodi Thomas is a master of a storyteller. Her words are so well put together, the poetic-kind of strings of tales entwined between the covers of the book, binding the lives of generations together with a gentle yet in a real, and at times emotionally raw, strands. The vivid images pulled me into this small town Texas, where the people are kind, curious, and generous while trying to survive with the new challenges the times are throwing at them.
It was so easy to relate to the people of the town, especially the newcomer, Jillian James. Her search for her father and for her roots, trying to find a place where she belongs to, her wondering ways to live and exist, her realistic way to see life, and the deep hidden need to belong and to be loved, made her a truly likable character. In her many layers, she has something each and everyone can relate to, pull from their own life and mirror it against her emotions, experiences, and characteristics.
Jillian's sweetly romantic connection to the mayor Connor Larady was tangible. The chemistry was there and their minds seemed to come into the same wavelength from very different experiences in life. Connor has the patience of a saint, he is kind, he is a caretaker of everyone in town, he is smart, he is generous, and a bit of a visionary.
The Connor's teenage daughter, Sunnie, and her adventures in the age-related drama, her friend Reese, and Gram and Joe with their 80 years of life and memories together brought new patches to the tale like the pieces of a quilt, altogether making a beautiful and unique piece of art.
Personally, I found so many connections to the story with the quilting, loving a person with a memory illness, and living in several places and even in different continents. At times it was like reading my own story in some parallel universe with a bit different twists and turns in the plot, and I absolutely treasured every moment I got to spend in Laurel Springs, Texas.
Mornings On Main is not one of those books you inhale on one sitting. Oh, don't get me wrong, it is doable and a temptation because of the well-written, alluring story. But to me, it was a book to be enjoyed slowly, taken on bites, relishing the moments and each relationship in the tale. Each twist and turn in the plot, the new emotions arising, revelations, tidbits of history and lives from the past was something I wanted to savor and ponder as I was reading. It is a story that you want to come back to, re-read, and visit the friends of Laurel Springs. It is a keepsake book that you want to escape into again and again, and get lost in the enticing lives of the people in Laurel Springs. They make you smile and sigh, even laugh. They pull you into their lives and make you feel like one them like you were right there in the middle of Main, living and observing your friends lives to happen to them.
Absolutely a delight to read and experience!
~ Five Spoons