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Morning in This Broken World: A Novel
by Katrina Kittle

Published: 2023-09-01T00:0
Paperback : 283 pages
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From the bestselling author of The Kindness of Strangers comes a poignant and life-affirming novel about our connections to the past, and the promise for the future during the least promising of times.

Grieving but feisty widow Vivian Laurent is at a late-in-life crossroads. The man ...

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Introduction

From the bestselling author of The Kindness of Strangers comes a poignant and life-affirming novel about our connections to the past, and the promise for the future during the least promising of times.

Grieving but feisty widow Vivian Laurent is at a late-in-life crossroads. The man she loved is gone. Their only daughter is estranged and missing. And the assisted-living facility where her husband died is going into quarantine. Living in lockdown with only heartache and memories is something Vivian can’t bear. Then comes a saving grace.

Luna, a compassionate nursing assistant and newly separated mother, is facing eviction. Vivian has a plan that could turn their lives around: return to her old home and invite Luna and her two children to move in with her. With the exuberant eleven-year-old Wren in her hot-pink motorized wheelchair and Wren’s troubled older brother, Cooper, the new housemates make for an unlikely pandemic pack, weathering the coming storm together.

Now it’s time to heal old wounds, make peace with the past, find hope and joy, and discover that the strongest bonds can get anyone through the worst of times.

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Excerpt

MARCH 2020


CHAPTER ONE—VIVIAN

Vivian stared at the five amber pill bottles before her on the Formica kitchen counter. Well, what was she waiting for? She had enough pills, but did she have enough guts?
She’d been too afraid to do a computer search when she considered helping Jack die. Her handsome, smartass Jack. She’d stockpiled these painkillers from various procedures throughout the years—her hysterectomy, Jack’s rotator cuff surgery, her trigger thumb surgery. She’d known if she’d decided to crush them up in pudding to help ease him out of this life of indignity, she’d have to be careful. There could be no search history in case there was an autopsy. She hadn’t known: did they do autopsies on Alzheimer’s patients? ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

From the author:

1. How was each of the four point of view characters already isolated and guarded before being forced into lockdown? In what ways do the various characters emerge as their more authentic selves by the novel’s end?

2. What are the different ways in which the characters help one another, both physically and emotionally? Luna says repeatedly that she is accepting Vivian’s charity, but Vivian disagrees. Do you?

3. Vivian invest a great deal of time and money on her garden. Why do you think it means so much to her? How does it parallel what she is growing and nurturing in other areas of her life?

4. Time with this new family changes how Cooper sees his potential future. What impact do Vivian and “the boys” have on him? How does he change his relationship with and awareness of his father’s shortcomings?

5. The Brood X cicadas are a strange, natural phenomenon, emerging every 17 years for a brief and very noisy life cycle. How do they play into the novel’s themes? How does the process of their metamorphosis compare and contrast that of the point of view characters?

6. Caretaking—for anyone—is important but exhausting. Both Vivian and Luna admit to neglecting their own health while they take care of others. You may have heard the expression, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” How does that saying apply to both of these women? In what ways have you perhaps had to make changes so that you, as a caretaker, were taking care of yourself as well?

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