Toggle navigation

About Shades of Morning

A 2011 RITA finalist from award-winning author Marlo Schalesky, a heartwarming tale of second chances.

Marnie didn’t know much about miracles.
Mistakes maybe. Accidents. And monstrous mess-ups. She knew a lot about those.
But miracles? Those were for other people.
Marnie Wittier has life just where she wants it. Quiet. Peaceful. No drama. A long way away from her past. In the privacy of her home, she fills a box with slips of paper, scribbled with her regrets, sins, and sorrows. But that’s nobody else’s business. Her bookstore/coffee shop patrons, her employees, her friends from church—they all think she’s the very model of compassion and kindness.
Then Marnie’s past creeps into her present when her estranged sister dies and makes Marnie guardian of her fifteen-year-old son—a boy Marnie never knew existed. And when Emmit arrives, she discovers he has Down syndrome—and that she’s woefully unprepared to care for him. What’s worse, she has to deal with Taylor Cole, her sister’s attorney, a man Marnie once loved—and abandoned.

As Emmit (and Taylor) work their way into her heart, Marnie begins to heal. But when pieces of her dismal past surface again, she must at last face the scripts of paper in her box, all the regrets and sorrows. Can she do it? Or will she run again?


Praise for
Shades of Morning

“Will Marnie and Taylor, torn apart sixteen years ago, find a way to overcome, seemingly impossible, barriers and find happiness? Shades of Morning, superbly crafted by veteran author, Marlo Schalesky, presents a sense of family and love that will touch the reader's soul.  The book is a memorable journey into a woman's heart and the lessons she learns about real family loyalty.  Reader, prepare yourself for a surprise ending!”
— Irene Brand, best-selling author of Love Finds You in Valentine, Nebraska and Made for Each Other

Shades of Morning is magical! Full of the wonder of love, true love. It surprised me on every page. I loved it!”
— Deborah Raney, author of Almost Forever and the Clayburn Novels 

 “Each of Marlo Schalesky’s inspirationally unique stories are “like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re gonna get” and Shades of Morning is no exception. From the first page, I fell for the beautifully drawn and flawed characters, and by the end, I wanted to hug them, especially Emmit. What an angel.” 
— Tamara Leigh, author of Nowhere, Carolina and Leaving Carolina

Shades of Morning is a gripping story of grace and forgiveness in the face of years of secrets, half-truths, and running. Yet it is so much more. Marnie and Tyler became people I cared about from the opening pages, yet I wondered how the tangled web of their past could ever unravel to show the promise of a future. And the image of God revealed in the prose speaks to me even now after I’ve reached the end.”
—    Cara C. Putman, author of Cornhusker Dreams and Stars in the Night

“Poignant. Heartfelt. Compelling. This latest novel by Marlo Schalesky is a touching testament to the power of love, forgiveness, and second chances. Shades of Morning is an unusual love story with a twist--and what a twist! You'll love it. But be sure to have a box of tissues close at hand. This would make a great movie! (Are you listening, Hollywood?)”
—    Laura Jensen Walker, author of Becca by the Book and Turning the Paige

“Marlo wrote an engrossing story told with her signature richness and beauty. Her characters lived and breathed -- I connected with them immediately -- even as they displayed the messiness of real life. Shades of Morning will touch your heart and remind you of God's enduring hope, love and redemption. It's a treasure!”
—    Cindy Martinusen Coloma, author of best-selling novel Orchid House and Beautiful

About Marlo Schalesky

MARLO SCHALESKY is the author of several acclaimed novels, including Christy Award winner Beyond the Night.  A graduate of Stanford University, Marlo also has a masters of theology from Fuller Theological Seminary.  She’s a regular columnist for Power for Living and lives with her husband, Bryan, and five children in California.

Product Details

352 pages | Published by Multnomah

On Sale Date: Jun 15, 2010

Trim Size: 5-3/16 x 8

Carton Quantity: 24

Sneak Peek

Marnie didn’t know much about miracles. Miracles were for other people.

Download and read the first two chapters of  Shades of Morning by Marlo Schalesky.

Marnie Wittier has her life just where she wants it—and that’s a long way away from her past. But nobody has to know about that. Until her estranged sister dies and she becomes guardian of a fifteen-year-old nephew with Down syndrome.

Download and read the first two chapters of  Shades of Morning by Marlo Schalesky.

By Nora St Laurent

â??"Some people were meant to love. Others only watched from the outsideâ?¦.because once, a long time ago, she had a single chance to love. One glimmering impossible opportunity. And sheâ??d blown it. Big time.â? Today Marnie meets her sistersâ?? child for the first time. Heâ??s fifteen and has Downsâ??s syndrome. How could her sister Rose, keep a secret like this? Taylor, the executor of her sisterâ??s will and former friend was asking...

Read the Full Review

By Sara J.

Shades of Morning is at its heart a story of redemption and divine providence. I found myself drawn into the plot immediately, even though it did strain my "suspension of disbelief" several times. There were times I felt that the main character Marnie behaved in what I considered an unlikely and ridiculous way. It was a quick read with a surprise ending that I will not even hint about. Suffice it to say, I can usually predict the endings...

Read the Full Review

By Cafe Lily Book Reviews

Marlo Schalesky won my heart with Beyond the Night - the first book I ever read of hers. Shades of Morning stole my heart again and I fell in love with it from the start. Marlo writes with creativity and has the ability to take unusual, sensitive topics and create a story you can get lost in. Shades of Morning revolves around Emmit, a boy with Down's Syndrome and the aunt who unexpectedly gains custody of him, when his mother dies. ...

Read the Full Review

By Renee Chaw

I will start out by saying this is the first time for me reading a book by Marlo Schalesky. I really liked the story right from the beginning but I was completely shocked by the ending. It was totally unexpected ans I still can't figure out if I liked that part or not! That said, I can't give this book 5 stars, just 4. The romantic aspect of the book was terrific and I really liked Taylor and Marnie. I am always a sucker for rekindled...

Read the Full Review

By Tammy Griffin

WOW! One word that can mean GREAT & FANTASTIC! Shades of Morning is a WOW read! I wasn't sure about this book having never read anything by Marlo Schalesky but I loved the title . . . so I received the book and was just going to browse the first page. BIG mistake! I couldn't put it down AND it was time to cook supper! Oh What to do?!?! Shades of Morning is a fast read even though I wouldn't label it a light read. This story has depth...

Read the Full Review