Jane falls in love with Duncan easily. But any notion Jane had of love and marriage changes with one terrible car crash. Soon Jane's life is permanently intertwined with Duncan's, Aggie's, and Jimmy's, and Jane knows she will never have Duncan to herself. But could it be possible that a deeper kind of happiness is right in front of Jane's eyes? From the author of "Standard Deviation."
There are some rare books that feel like nibbling on the prettiest, most delicious biscuit. It’s only when you finish them, eking out the last few chapters because you don’t want to waste a single precious crumb, that you realise the biscuit was in fact a protein-packed three-course meal, and an exceptionally satisfying one — nourishment for life. The only reason you didn’t think this from the start is that the book was so intensely funny that you mistook its lightness for a lack of depth ... Katherine Heiny’s hard-to-top previous novel, Standard Deviation, was one such book, and to my mind one of the best, and funniest, novels of the past ten years. Her new one, Early Morning Riser, is perhaps even better ... about the nature of all kinds of love, about the deep pleasures and frequent exasperations of small-town life, about the joys and frustrations of families and domesticity, and about what, in the end, constitutes happiness. It is such a rich novel, each character neon-vivid and exquisitely drawn, with as much care lavished on the bit-part players as on the main performers ... Heiny also excels at writing small children and the scenes involving Jane’s classroom are cry-makingly funny ... weighty, tender, astute, more funny than I know how to describe and, in places, profoundly sad — Heiny can break your heart in one sentence. It takes the tiny stuff of everyday life and makes it big and meaningful. Quiet things become loud. You put the book down and feel glad to be alive.
... quiet whirlwind of a novel ... Heiny writes about small-town life without ridicule or slapstick, and never resorts to idyllic depictions of a long-ago day that never existed ... At its heart, this is a serious story full of lightness.
... may be this year’s funniest novel. There are not enough women authors on the Best Comic Novel lists, and she deserves a place on all of them, stat ... You have to pay attention to a book like Heiny’s. She’s not working broad, she’s working as a broad, a woman confident enough in her understanding of the world to take it all down a notch ... While Jimmy’s life isn’t the only plot in this sweetly sardonic book, it does link the main characters in ways that are just plain sweet, showing off the strengths of small-town life alongside its myriad flaws ... Like her comic-novel forebears — Flora in Cold Comfort Farm, Hazel in Made for Love and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando — Heiny’s delightful protagonist contains multitudes and leaves us wanting to learn more about her life.