Sunday, January 13, 2008

Morning Comes Softly by Debbie Macomber

Title: Morning Comes Softly
Author: Debbie Macomber

ISBN: 9780061080630

Publisher: Avon Books/1993

Pages: 374

Debbie Macomber seems to be a popular writer. I see her books all over the place. This one was a gift from one of my friends. She reads romances like mad and is trying to reform me. Lately I have been reading many romances. My heavy reading has taken a toll. I can read for my pleasure, can’t I?

Morning Comes Softly has a quaint story line. Travis Thompson has lost his brother and his sister in law in an accident. Now he finds himself the caretaker of their three kids. The children's constant comparison of Travis's home life to their parents' does not help. Travis needs someone to nurture the three young. Surly Travis spurns the local townswomen's offers of help, preferring to manage the children in his own way.

With the threat of having the children taken into care hanging over him, Travis realizes that desperate action has to be taken. Advertising for a bride is his last chance to salvage his life before he loses the children to the foster care system.
Mary Warner is a 32-year-old librarian, small of stature, big of heart. Alone now after the death of her mother, her feelings of loneliness are intensified when she reads Travis Thompson's newspaper advertisement. She yearns to be a wife and mother, but her perceived lack of beauty and slight build have badly dented her self-confidence. She feels this is her only chance for a family and responds to him.

Travis's wish for a long-legged, well-endowed blonde are left unmet, as Mary reminds him of nothing so much as Minnie Mouse when she gets off the plane and two days later they are married. There are few weeks of tough adjustment, which is much harder on Travis than on Mary, whose skills in the kitchen and with the sewing machine are second to her ability to take charge of a household. There are lot of elements here: the grieving children, a grieving Travis who has no time for grief, and Mary adjusting from a damp Louisiana to a dry Montana.

Then there is Travis's reputation in the town as a hell-raiser. Who would have thought he would advertise for a wife, much less settle on someone like Mary?
A sub-plot involving Travis's desperate search to find the person responsible for his brother's death gives the novel some added depth.

This is reprint of a warm early 1990s contemporary ranch romance. The fun in the tale is taking the nineteenth century mail order bride theme and bringing it into the late twentieth century. The lead couple is a delightful pairing as he is gruff and she is shy; yet the three kids steal the hearts of the audience. Predictable ending as expected.