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Some stories are love stories without falling into the more narrow definition of Romance. See You In The Morning is this kind of story. Falling in love and overcoming the obstacles in their way was taken care of in the second volume of this series, What Took You So Long. This volume deals with the realities of life and death following the marriage ceremony and includes the joys, pressures, and pain of blending two personalities and dreams into one to create a forever kind of love.
SEE YOU IN THE MORNING by Pamela S. Williams
Both Laine McGuire and John Marchbanks are cancer survivors. In their late thirties, they marry in the temple, and within two years are parents of three children, a single and a set of twins. Disaster strikes when fifteen years into their marriage, Laine’s cancer returns and she passes away. Most of this story takes place in those days between Laine’s death and her funeral as John reads her journal and recalls the events that took place as they adjusted to marriage later than most and having babies when most people their age are sending their children to high school and college, paying for weddings, and becoming grandparents. He reads and remembers time spent at their vacation home, accommodating Church callings, balancing their careers with their home life, and interacting with their families and close friends.
This isn’t a light, quick read, but is written more like a trip down memory lane. John doesn’t read the journal from beginning to end, but skips around, making the events out of chronological order. He considers in depth life lessons learned and the growth of their relationship with each other. The author uses a stream-of-conscious style rather than following a plot arc. This style works fine for this story which is a love story, but not a Romance. The only time I found it confusing was when references were made without explanation to characters from the previous two books.
The title of the book, See You In The Morning, is derived from the couple’s reluctance to ever say “good-bye” or “good night” since the terms took on a too final connotation during their earlier battles with cancer. Instead, each night before going to sleep they said, “See you in the morning.” As Laine’s second bout of cancer drew her near death, they committed to not speak a final farewell, but to trust in being together again the morning of their resurrection. It’s a statement of their faith that there will be another morning and they’ll be together again.
Though this story can’t be labeled preachy, it does give a great deal of information concerning the views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints concerning death and the continuation of marriage and families after this life.
This is the third volume in a trilogy that began with Laine’s friend moving into the basement of her Aunt Sophie’s house while working out some marital problems. The second volume focused on the reception center the two women started and Laine and John falling in love. This third volume is partly an epilogue for the first two books, but is also a prequel to an eternal relationship and the enduring love of two people.
Williams was a newspaper reporter, a writing teacher, and filled many other writing roles in her career. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, but lived in Guam, Iran, and Navajoland, before she and her husband settled in Utah. They are the parents of three children. Ironically, shortly after finishing writing See You in the Morning, the author Pamela S. Williams, was diagnosed with cancer and passed away.
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SEE YOU IN THE MORNING by Pamela S. Williams, published by Walnut Springs Press, 292 pages, soft cover $17.99. Also available for e-readers.