Early Morning Riser, Katherine Heiny


September 2023

The most small town of all small town stories, but in Katherine Heiny’s hands Early Morning Riser is, of course, universal and flush with meaning as well as being beautiful and soulful and very funny. Schoolteacher Jane moves to Boyne City in Michigan and immediately gets together with Duncan, a furniture restorer who has apparently slept with every woman in town, and beyond, and their sister. They even have to spend all of their time with one of his exes and her shell of a husband. Jane’s mother is the perfect bitch. And while Jane is already doing and being everything to everyone (spoiler alert), she becomes responsible for Jimmy, Duncan’s assistant who has learning difficulties.

I loved it. I really did, and cannot wait to catch up on Heiny’s latest story collection, Games & Rituals. BUT - and it’s a big BUT - I also wanted Jane to escape to another life. I CANNOT BELIEVE she put up with Aggie, Duncan’s pain-in-the-ass ex, and her husband who really made me think of Joe Biden, like an ancient wax model, controlled from within by Fraggles. There’s a bit where he refuses to miss his favourite teatime TV show, like a toddler. It’s unreal. So: do read it, but please also pray for Jane.

Note to self: I know you want to rewatch Gilmore Girls now/ASAP, but you can wait until Percy’s old enough and do it together.

I borrowed my edition ‘for free’ from the Amazon Prime Reading library. But I think we all know that very little in life comes for free, and certainly nothing from Amazon, a company I am suscribed to up to the hilt and depend upon for a million last minute purchases as well as my daughter’s every tiny school dress up day needs. I did give it up for a while once, but it made my life so hard, and it wasn’t clear what I was trying to prove, and to whom. Well it was clear what I was trying to prove, but it made my life too painful. And Amazon even controls my Kindle reading life! And so much more. Bastards. If you’re looking for cheap books, may I suggest World of Books instead?