Morning Glory (Jio)

Discussion Questions
1. Why does Ada feel like she needs to leave New York? Is she going to Seattle for the “right reasons,” as Dr. Evinson puts it?

2. When Jim meets Ada for the first time he says, “No matter what, home is home. It’s where you belong.” How is this concept played out over the course of the book? What is “home” for Ada?

3. How does their mutual loneliness draw Jimmy and Penny together? What do the two have to offer to each other?

4. Collin tells Penny that he lives by a certain Mark Twain quote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Do any of the other characters live this way? What prevents people from “throwing off the bowlines?”

5. The details of both Ada and Alex’s pasts are revealed slowly over the course of the novel. How does this parallel Ada’s discoveries about Penny? Why do you think the author chose to structure the novel this way?

6. What kind of kinship does Ada feel with Penny? Does trying to solve the mystery of her disappearance help Ada heal from the loss of James and Ella? Why does Ada blame herself for their deaths?

7. What role does faith play in the novel? Does Ada’s relationship with Alex alter her faith at all? Why are “the signs” she asks for so necessary for her to move on?

8. What do you make of Dexter? Did your opinion of him change as you read? How so? Why did he treat Penny so poorly? Did Penny truly understand how he felt about her?

9. How does the notion that “some of life’s most beautiful things grow out of the darkest moments” become a theme of the novel? Do you agree?

10.  Do Penny’s suspicions about Dexter’s “indiscretions” in some way free her to fall in love with Collin? Is she reluctant to leave Dexter in some ways? Why? Why does Collin sail away from Penny on the dock that night?

11. Were you surprised to discover who Penny’s attacker was? Did you understand his motivations?

12. Water is often a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings. Is that the case in Morning Glory? How so?

13. Discuss the epilogue. Were you surprised by its revelations? What kind of a future do you imagine for Alex and Ada?
(Questions issued by the publisher.)

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