In Review

Novel of the week: Early Morning Riser

A novel of ‘deadpan charm’ and ‘sharp truths’ about small-town life, by Katherine Heiny

Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny

Katherine Heiny’s 2017 novel Standard Deviation – about an ill-matched married couple – was “to my mind one of the best, and funniest” of recent years, said India Knight in The Sunday Times. Her new one may be “even better”. It tells the story of Jane, a primary school teacher who moves to a small town in Michigan and begins dating “an exceptionally handsome woodworker”. He is perfect for her in just about every respect, except, as Jane discovers, for one: he has “slept with every sleepable-with woman in the county”. As someone whose “expectations are traditional”, Jane finds this increasingly troubling (though for the reader its effect is “cumulatively hilarious”). Weighty and tender – and at times “profoundly sad” – this is a book that “takes the tiny stuff of everyday life and makes it big and meaningful”.

On its surface this novel “exudes sitcom cosiness”, said Hephzibah Anderson in The Observer. Don’t be fooled: it is a work of “deadpan charm” that offers many “sharp truths” about small-town life. It’s like “Anne Tyler with added grunge”.

4th Estate 336pp £14.99; The Week Bookshop £11.99

Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny
The Week Bookshop

To order this title or any other book in print, visit theweekbookshop.co.uk, or speak to a bookseller on 020-3176 3835. Opening times: Monday to Saturday 9am-5.30pm and Sunday 10am-4pm.

Recommended

Recipe: Karikari okoge no yakimeshi
Karikari okoge no yakimeshi (fried rice with crispy bits) recipe from Your Home Izakaya by Tim Anderson
On the menu

Recipe: Karikari okoge no yakimeshi

Best wines: a cosmic 2016 Rioja that’s well worth the wait
Wine
Expert’s view

Best wines: a cosmic 2016 Rioja that’s well worth the wait

Best properties: homes with lovely gardens
Houses with lovely gardens
The wish list

Best properties: homes with lovely gardens

Best podcasts: from Alan Alda’s science to Tim Dowling’s dog
Collection of podcasts
In Review

Best podcasts: from Alan Alda’s science to Tim Dowling’s dog

Popular articles

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined
Boy receiving Covid vaccine
Getting to grips with . . .

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined

Insulate Britain: what do they want?
Insulate Britain protesters
Profile

Insulate Britain: what do they want?

‘Missing’ man joins search party looking for himself
Turkish police
Tall Tales

‘Missing’ man joins search party looking for himself

The Week Footer Banner