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Morning Glory

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  11,052 ratings  ·  883 reviews

In town, they called her "Crazy Widow Dinsmore." But Elly was no stranger to their ridicule--she had been an outsider all her life, growing up in a boarded-up old house under the strict eye of her eccentric grandparents. Now she was all alone, with two little boys to raise, and a third child on the way.

Paperback, 480 pages
Published 1991 by Grafton / HarperCollins (first published 1989)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,052 ratings  ·  883 reviews

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Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Magnificent!!! One of my all time favorite, desert island, top ten books, ever!!!! I loved, loved, LOVED IT!!! I cried and cried and cried, it was sooooo endearing!!!! A lovely book of love, family, second chances, perseverance and triumph!! (I definitely have a thing for Williams) lol
5++ stars

This is my first book by this author and I was completely enthralled! From the very first page this book sparked my attention and I don't know when I've been more immersed and involved in the lives of the characters. I know I will never forget Will Parker and his utterly lonely existence until he meets Elly Dinsmore.

A few of the things I loved.

(1) I liked this book so much I did not want to put it down. This is no light & fluffy read but one of intense emotion. I
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"Morning Glory" is a glorious classic romance -- aflame with passion and bittersweet longing. One needs perhaps to have a little of these qualities in one's soul to respond fully to the novel, which to a cynical mind might seem like overworked melodrama, but that to me sang with innocence and trust.

Set in a small town in Georgia, the book spans about two and a half years during World War II and follows two of the most memorable characters I’ve ever met. Will is an ex con, an orphan,
Katrina Passick Lumsden

OH. Holy shit. This book!

I can't.

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I attacked this book and read it like it was the last thing I was ever going to do in my life. I couldn't put it down. I had to keep going. I had to know that there would be good things for Will and Elly. And the trip to their HEA was so unbelievably...GAH!

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Will and Elly are so tragically lonely and starved for affection that I just wanted to pick them both up, put them in a warm, padded room for a
Orphan. Bastard. Convict. Woman-killer. Boy.

Will Parker has been called every name in the book, none of them inaccurate and all of them unflattering. Drifting into Whitney, Georgia in the summer of 1941, he's just been fired from the local sawmill on account of his stint in prison for killing a woman in a Texas brothel. Bone-thin from hunger and wearing clothes stolen from a local's drying line, he decides to answer a woman's newspaper ad looking for a husband. The yard may be full of junk, the hou
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a sweet read. Sad at times. Loved Will. He grew up alone, no family, no friends. Her upbringing was no better.

In town, they called her "Crazy Widow Dinsmore." But Elly was no stranger to their ridicule--she had been an outsider all her life, growing up in a boarded-up old house under the strict eye of her eccentric grandparents. Now she was all alone, with two little boys to raise, and a third child on the way.

He drifted into Whitney, Georgia, one lazy afternoon in the summer of 1941, hoping
Audio & Story 5++++ stars!!!

I loved Ellie and Will, but Miss Beasley stole my heart!

I read my first romance novel when I was 13. This book reminded me of why I became addicted to them. Of course, I'm grateful for the various amounts of romance novels available now. Variety is the spice of my reading life, after all, but I liked discovering that I could still enjoy an oldie. ;-)
Duchess Nicole
It's worth every bit of hype. Straight to my favorites shelf. A historical romance, from the WWII era. Poor, lonely people who are both at a low point in their lives. They find each other and one of the sweetest, most evocative stories I've ever read unfolds. Magical.
Will is an ex-convict, recently released from prison, hungry and all alone in the world, having nowhere to go and no place to call home. Elly is a widow with two children and one more on the way, who has lived most of her life as a recluse, shunned by others and considered mad. She needs a husband to help her with the work around the house. Despair and a newspaper ad will bring them together.

Will is an ex-convict, recently released from prison, hungry and all alone in the world, having nowhere to go and no place to call home. Elly is a widow with two children and one more on the way, who has lived most of her life as a recluse, shunned by others and considered mad. She needs a husband to help her with the work around the house. Despair and a newspaper ad will bring them together.

I find this book truly wonderful and I will explain why. Firstly, I felt an instant connection to the characters. The book begins with Will and I felt like I knew and loved him not more than two pages in the story. This is an excellent example of how showing is better than telling. Will didn't complain about his past, his problems and his situation and I could tell he was miserable through the narration of past events and things that happened to him instead of through Will's endless whining about his pitiful situation. And this made me love him even more. Same goes for Elly. This is what I call a pair of strong, memorable characters.

The plot didn't move the way I expected it to, but it still managed to exceed my already high expectations. I thought this would be a simple marriage-of-convenience story, but it was much more than that. Will and Elly lived together from the beginning. Will helped Elly around the house, took charge of everything and provided for her, but they weren't a couple and they didn't get married until some months later when they already knew each other for months and had developed feelings stronger than the bonds of friendship they shared from the beginning, though in secret, without daring to say it out loud. Will thought he was worthless and unlovable, Elly thought she was plain and not bright enough. Both thought they didn't deserve each other, but it was clear they were perfect together.

The inner struggle of the characters was really heartwrenching. Will is the most honourable human being I've ever read about and though I loved Elly from the beginning, it was around the end of the book when she shone the brightest.

Will and Elly are complex, round and three-dimensional characters and I have nothing negative to say about this book apart from some pacing issues in some parts, which may as well be because I read Morning Glory in a very busy week and I had to read two pages, put it down then pick it up again and it went like that until I finished it. Even though this dampened my reading experience and didn't allow me to enjoy this book to the fullest, I still loved it and I can't give anything less than five stars. It deserves them.

Set in America during the second World War, not a typical setting for an HR, LaVyrle Spencer has managed to impress me with her writing skills and amazing characters and has penned a story that most readers will appreciate and fall in love with.

Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Many years ago I was a LaVyrle Spencer fan and I read lots of her books. I just came across this one which I had not read before and wondered if the magic was still there after all these years. It was. This author's main talent was always for the way she wrote her characters making them real with human needs and mistakes. As they struggle to make their own fairy stories come true they make the reader laugh and cry with genuine emotion. This is possibly one of her best books and I loved it. If you want ...more
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Re read November 2018
5+++ stars

Simply a beautiful love story :)
Tammy Walton Grant
No one wrote a love story quite like LaVyrle Spencer did. I haven't read another author who got me to care that much about her characters -- butterflies in my stomach, ache in my heart, lump in my throat.

Spencer had a very specific talent. Her heroes weren't always impossibly handsome, nor were her heroines long-tressed beauties with perfect lips. There were no pirate ships or ballrooms or carriages. She took run-of-the-mill folks and made them beautiful. Just ordinary people, leadin
Joanna Loves Reading
Marvelous. Will try to add more thoughts later.
Overall rating: 5+++++ "Green Eyes" stars!!!! Utterly fantastic - I cannot rate this book high enough!!!!

Cheating: (view spoiler)
Love triangle: (view spoiler)
Sex with om/ow: (view spoiler) ...more
Will Parker had hit rock bottom. He was finally free after spending five years in prison. Thin to the point of appearing emaciated, cautious and scared of the future, he agreed to marry the 'Crazy Widow Dinsmore' in exchange for assisting her with her home. A littered yard, squeaky door hinges, a musty barn and a broken ladder were just a few of the things that needed attending.

Five months pregnant and with two little ones, Elly Dinsmore needed a man around the house. She had put an
Jane Stewart
4 stars. I felt so good reading this. Toddlers and having a baby play a larger role than normal for a romance novel.

I read the paperback several years ago and recently listened to the audiobook. I liked it even better this time. The audiobook narrator Kate Forbes was wonderful.

What a lovely story. It felt different from most romance novels. It was written 23 years ago and reflects some of that thinking. It was very sweet. A few times I was teary-eyed - the kind of tears
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I reread this book recently and found it be simply as wonderful as I remembered. This book does such an amazing job building a American world just on the brink of World War II. The hero and heroine are so broken and yet come so alive with love that this is a love story to tell for all time.

The insights into neglect and abuse offered by this book are moving as is the journey to healing and bravery. I think this might be one of the best plain heroine romance there is. We also have the fun of a ma
Aug 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved the characters, I loved their strengths and vulnerabilities, I loved the beginning the most, when I got to know Will and Elly, I loved how they appreciated the little they had, how they appreciated and respected and loved each other. finally decent MCs in a historical romance, finally! I skimmed over the part about the war when I started to lose interest but the story picked up again, the twist presented a great challenge for the relationship between our MCs and was exactly what they nee ...more
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Damn, what a heartbreaking story! And it was a re-read! Most of the book I was with a lump in my throat and sometimes sobbing madly!
Historical romance
A lot of triggers.
Beautifully written, unique but very real plot.
Safe read
Faithful MCs

How many things in our life we take them for granted nowadays?
What a background of protagonists. What a strong woman Elly! What a beautiful sunny person she was. She didn't permit her abusive family to shut down her inner
Preeti ♥︎ (Romance She Reads)
There are so many great and detailed reviews so I won’t even try.
Just some rambling.

Will is a H to die for. Honorable and humane even after all the deprivations of his life. The h started out as a loving, giving Pollyanna but began withholding before long and annoyed the hell out of me.
Maybe I loved Will so much that I resented her not caring for him unreservedly.
His love and caring felt wholesome and unselfish, while hers was more about what he could do for her. But still th
My favourite part about this novel was how slowly things developed. Some readers may not enjoy this and might prefer a more fast-paced novel, but I loved watching as their relationship developed and how mutual need for both turned to companionship and then love. I particularly enjoyed watching as they overcame their insecurities and misgivings. The book is told from more than one POV and during scenes--particularly ones that hold a lot of emotional weight--we see both the inner thoughts of Elly ...more
Dear audiobook publishers: THANK YOU! An unabridged version, finally, beautifully narrated.

Old review:
Dear audiobook publishers: All I want for Christmas is this beautiful book, narrated in all its unabridged glory. As of today, Audible only carries it in abridged format. Why mess with a winner??? This book took all honors, yes?

Another Spencer I'd like in unabridged audio is Hummingbird.

Spencer socks it to me, right in the heart. I love her books! Morning Glory is my favorite, followed by Hum
Wonderful, beautiful book!!
My gosh, Will Parker... wow! To me, this book was really about him. You just want to see his life become something he deserves. Love, happiness, somewhere to belong. I loved Elly but she seemed somehow stronger than Will, she had the kids and yes she had a tough life too, but Will, he is the one you really pulled for. The one your heart broke for. This story was just So good! So, so good. I want to keep this story close to my heart to review when I am idle, just to r
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hr, hug-the-book
4.5-stars These characters make my heart swell.

I heard about Morning Glory a long while ago. Well, I am so glad I have finally read it! It is an incredible love story between two ordinary people Will and Elly. Will is an ex-convict and a drifter. Their journey begins with Will answering Elly’s ad. It is one of those romance books that go for simplicity and reality without ridiculous suspense and nonsense twist. I like Will’s sincerity and Elly’s generous spirit. Both LCs are damaged, but ther
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jennifer by: Dear Author
It's rare that an author can pull off having a hero who killed a whore in a brothel before the book and still have the reader like and forgive him, but Spencer did it. This was just wonderful. Both protagonists had so many insecurities and Spencer played them perfectly--they were real without overwhelming the plot and overcome realistically. This was lovely.
This book is so good, it physically hurts. Definitely my favorite read of 2012.
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There are classics in literature, Moby Dick, War and Peace, Oliver Twist and many, many more. I think the romances of yesteryear have their classics too, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and more. Modern day romance – not so sure if they have what would be considered classics yet or not, it may be too soon, but if they did, I’m sure they would have a book or two by Georgette Heyer, Kathleen Woodiwiss. And then we come to another author who has written some of what I consider mod ...more
Wow, I'm actually having trouble finding the words to describe what a deeply touching book this is. It is a surprisingly poignant, intensely moving and beautifully written love story. I found myself caring and loving the characters of Elly and Will as if I knew them personally. Their story brings a tear to the eyes, a sigh to the heart but most importantly a smile to the face when closing the final cover.
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LaVyrle Spencer is an American best-selling author of contemporary and historical romance novels. She has successfully published a number of books, with several of them made into movies. Twelve of her books have been New York Times bestsellers, and Spencer was inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame in 1988.

Spencer is known for creating realistic characters and stories that focu
“Lizzy, Will thought. Lizzy P. 'You n me gonna be buddies, darlin'. He stretched one hand to Elly's hair, and circled Donald Wade's rump with his free arm and touched Thomas's leg, on the far side of Elly. And he smiled at Lizzy P. and thought, Heaven's got nothin' on being the husband of Eleanor Dinsmore.” 22 likes
“Touch me, he thought, my arm, my hand, a finger. Let me know it's all right for me to have these feelings for you.” 18 likes
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