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Granny Reads: Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer

This technically is not on my shelf of Granny Reads, but it was suggested to me by a coworker who also happens to be a grandmother and the story really fits the whole theme of Granny Reads, so I'm including it here.

I can see why Morning Glory was recommended so highly to me. I mostly started writing this series to highlight the way romance has changed over the last few decades, but this one was pretty timeless. There are certainly old-fashioned values at play here, but that's because the story is set in the early 1940s in a small town in Georgia. In a marriage of convenience, "crazy" widow Elly Dinsmore advertises for a husband to help her take care of her farm as the birth of her third child approaches, and only penniless ex-con Will Parker is desperate enough to take her up on her offer.

While there's a fairly traditional division of labor on Elly and Will's farm, the reasons for this never feel dated. Elly knows house chores inside and out, plus she's very pregnant for the first part of the book, so she can't do the strenuous outside work. Will, on the other hand, is no stranger to manual labor, but has rarely had a safe and stable home situation, so he doesn't know the first thing about being domestic. Yet, when they are both required to do some of the other's work later on in the book, they both do so with the sort of no-nonsense attitude that's believable for folks with a blue collar background.

In their romantic relationship, Will generally takes the lead, but this makes sense because of Elly's emotionally   stunted childhood, and when it makes sense, she does stand up for Will and their marriage.

This one reminded me that really good timeless romance novels won't give you a lot of fodder for making fun of the misogynistic crap that used to fly in these stories.
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