Early Morning Riser: A novel (Paperback)
A wise, bighearted, boundlessly joyful novel of love, disaster, and unconventional family from the celebrated author ("like Cheever mixed with Ephron" per The New York Times Book Review) of Standard Deviation.
Jane easily falls in love with Duncan: he's charming, good-natured, and handsome. He has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan. Jane sees Duncan's old girlfriends everywhere--at restaurants, at the grocery store and even three towns away.
While Jane may be able to come to terms with dating the world's most prolific seducer of women, she wishes she didn't have to share him quite so widely. His ex-wife, Aggie, still has Duncan mow her lawn. And his coworker Jimmy comes and goes from Duncan's apartment at the most inopportune times. Jane wonders how the relationship is supposed to work with all these people in it, not to mention most of the other residents of Boyne City, who freely share with Jane their opinions of her choices.
But any notion Jane has of love and marriage changes with one terrible car crash. Now her life is permanently intertwined with Duncan's, Aggie's, and Jimmy's, and she knows she will never have Duncan to herself. But is it possible that a deeper kind of happiness is right in front of her eyes? A novel that is alternately bittersweet and laugh-out-loud funny, Early Morning Riser is Katherine Heiny's most astonishingly wonderful work to date.
About the Author
KATHERINE HEINY is the author of Standard Deviation and Single, Carefree, Mellow. Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and many other magazines. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband and children, and is a former resident of London, The Hague, and Boyne City, Michigan.
A Kirkus Book to Look For in 2021
"Standard Deviation was one of my favorite books of the last decade, and Early Morning Riser contains the same wit, tenderness and razor sharp observations about modern relationships. I loved it."
—JoJo Moyes, author of Me Before You
"Warm, witty, touching - and frequently hilarious."
—David Nicholls, author of One Day
“Early Morning Riser is a charming, witty and heartwarming novel about life and love in a small town that is destined to improve your mood and restore your faith in humankind. Katherine Heiny — who has long been a personal favorite writer of mine — is at the height of her storytelling powers. Every sentence is a treat!”
—Elin Hilderbrand, bestselling author of 28 Summers
"Katherine Heiny is as warm and moving as Anne Tyler at her best, as funny as David Sedaris at his most hilarious, and one of the truly original voices in current fiction. Her wonderful second novel is a much-needed reminder that no matter how flawed, foolish, and downright annoying people can be, they’re still capable of immense kindness and outrageously unselfish love. Be forewarned: reading Earlier Morning Riser could make you believe we’re not necessarily all doomed."
—Stephen McCauley, author of My Ex-Life
"Glorious. I love how it evokes the rhythm of life in all its joy and ordinariness and chaos. I loved the dialogue, the relationships. I love the one-liners, the humour, the gorgeous detail, the food, the innermost thoughts, and the love."
—Nina Stibbe, author of Reasons to Be Cheerful
"Early Morning Riser is a joy of a novel. Beautiful, poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. It's the kind of book you'll have no choice but to stay up reading all night, and then you'll be sad when you've run out of pages. Katherine Heiny's voice is unlike anyone else's, and it's just what the world needs now."
—J. Courtney Sullivan, bestselling author of Friends and Strangers
"Early Morning Riser is wise, sad and barkingly funny. Katherine Heiny writes brilliantly about what we mean by the word 'family' and her novel is loving without being soppy and warm without being cozy—I didn't want it to end."
—Lissa Evans, author of Old Baggage
"Katherine Heiny’s books feel like spending time with a smart, funny and beloved friend who always has a million interesting things to talk about but always wants to know about you, too. She is a charming and insightful and unique writer and Early Morning Riser is every bit as good as Standard Deviation, if not better.”
—Lisa Jewell, author of The Family Upstairs
“Gorgeous. Very, very funny in a knowing wry way but so tender, so beautiful. I loved all the characters.”
—Marian Keyes, author of Grown Ups
"Few writers so memorably capture the quirky interior lives of their characters as Heiny... She returns to form with Early Morning Riser, a wry and wise novel about the intertwined romantic lives of the residents of a small Michigan town... Heiny soars in her offbeat examination of small-town baggage and found families."
"The perfect pick me-up, filled to the brim with lovable eccentrics and delightful oddballs."
“Katherine Heiny’s latest romance-adjacent work of literary fiction has been compared to Jane Austen’s novels… An entirely unexpected ensemble cast of characters in the throes and on the edge of love.”
“If you enjoyed All Adults Here, by Emma Straub, read Early Morning Riser… When you enter a relationship with a man who has had relations with, well, half the town, things will probably get weird. Jane, the star of Heiny’s offbeat and funny new novel, falls for Duncan — who comes with an oversize load of small-town baggage. The story, which spans 17 years, sparkles with Heiny’s trademark witticisms and cutting observations.”
"A ‘modern Jane Austen'... [Heiny] unites stylistic verve with laugh-out-loud humor, and is a perfect balance of literary and accessible.. I'd read the back of a cereal box if it was written by Katherine Heiny."
"This touching and fizzy comic novel... makes the ordinary extraordinary. A deep awareness of the ways the potential for tragedy lies just beneath the surface of small-town life gives the proceedings a sense of gravity and holds the humor in perfect balance. This is a winner."
—Publishers Weekly, starred
"More than a little contagious hilarity... Laugh-out-loud scenes seamlessly flow into deep consideration of what it means to be a family and the power of accepting one another, eccentricities and all. This irresistible delight is a much-needed balm during these unnerving times."
—Library Journal, starred
"The author of Single, Carefree, Mellow (2015) and Standard Deviation (2017) brings us new characters to fall in love with in this novel about love, family, and community. It’s easy to adore the characters Heiny conjures in her novels and short stories. They tend to be quirky and smart, caring and passionate... Heiny’s book finds beauty and humor in connection and community, family and friendship, and the way love can develop and deepen over time. A heartwarming novel with a small-town vibe that sparkles like wine sipped with friends under backyard fairy lights."
“A warm-hearted tribute to small town living, with all its attendant exasperations… Witty, exuberant… Heiny clearly writes with a great deal of love for her characters and location, but also offers real insight into the ways in which accidental intimacy can lead to a deeper and truer understanding of ourselves.”