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Joy in the Morning: A Novel Paperback – June 29, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0061774331 ISBN-10: 0061774332 Edition: 1st

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Joy in the Morning: A Novel + Maggie-Now: A Novel + A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics; 1 edition (June 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061774332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061774331
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"<I>Joy in the Morning</I> stands out with a glad affirmation that love can accomplish the impossible." -- --<I>Chicago Tribune</I><br /><br />"A marvel...a human-hearted song of joy." -- --<I>Best Sellers</I><br /><br />"Weeping, laughing, raging, exulting...Intensely emotional...Inspired." -- --<I>New York Times</I> --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

From the Back Cover

A timeless classic is reborn! From Betty Smith—author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, one of the most beloved novels of the past century—comes an unsentimental yet radiant and powerfully uplifting tale of young hearts and marriage.

In 1927, in Brooklyn, New York, Carl Brown and Annie McGairy meet and fall in love. Though only eighteen, Annie travels alone halfway across the country to the Midwestern university where Carl is studying law—and there they marry. But their first year together is much more difficult than they anticipated, in a faraway place with little money and few friends. With hardship and poverty weighing heavily upon them, Annie and Carl come to realize that their greatest sources of strength, loyalty and love, will help them make it through.

More About the Author

Betty Smith was born Elisabeth Wehner on December 15, 1896, the same date as, although five years earlier than, her fictional heroine Francie Nolan. The daughter of German immigrants, she grew up poor in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, the very world she recreates with such meticulous detail in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Smith also wrote other novels and had a long career as a dramatist, writing one-act and full-length plays for which she received both the Rockefeller Fellowship and the Dramatists Guild Fellowship. She died in 1972.

Customer Reviews

It's one of those books that you can't put down, but dread finishing.
Smith's character development is incredibly strong and her dialogue is excellently realistic.
A. Tillman
This book really makes one believe that love can accomplish anything and everything.
Savvy Shopper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Busy Mom VINE VOICE on March 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
I couldn't believe that I didn't pick this book up immediately when I was sick with the flu ~~ this is one book you cannot just put down and go do something else. You have to devote a day to enjoy the rich characterizations that Betty Smith created with this book! It is incredibly romantic and upbeat!!

Just like Francie in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, you'll fall in love with Annie. Annie moves west to Chicago from Brooklyn to marry Carl, her sweetheart. And the story is about her first year with Carl, getting pregnant and making new friends in a strange town and making do with little money. And throughout this whole book, Annie faces every challenge with an upbeat and cheerful spirit. And she will steal your heart too!!

I am almost afraid to watch the movie because the book itself is absolutely wonderful!! It's incredibly romantic and wonderful. Please don't hesitate to buy it ~~ it's a good buy and one that will warm your heart forever!!...
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is one of my favorite "youth" novels. Annie McGairy has a lot in common with Francie Nolan of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and even more with Betty Smith, the author. This is more autobiographical novelization, this time, chronicling Annie's move west and her marriage to Carl at a young age.
While Carl studies law at a big Midwestern university, Annie must cope with the changes marriage brings, plus the stress of little money and a burning desire to get an education. Annie's solution is to camp outside a classroom at the university and listen in. The events that follow are, indeed, joyous.
Some readers find that "Joy in the Morning" is less enjoyable than "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." Some of this may be due to the fact that "Joy in the Morning" is a novel about a transitional time in the author's life. Novels and autobiographies that deal with times of change and transition are often less "jelled" than ones about childhood. I sometimes compare "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" with "Angela's Ashes" by McCourt. "Joy in the Morning" shares some qualities with McCourt's sequel "T'is" for the same reasons--it's that time of growth and transition. If you keep that in mind, it explains the difference in quality from the previous work.
I had the amusing experience of reading "Joy in the Morning" for the first time while I was attending a big midwestern university myself. When Smith began describing the campus and the classroom in the novel, I could clearly visualize all the locations she wrote about. I began to have my suspicions and ran to the library to look up Smith's biography. Yes, she was writing about University of Michigan, where I was going to school at the time.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In light of our terrible divorce rate in America, this book lets you know why those older couples you see who celebrate their 50th and 75th anniversary make it that long. I was married not too long ago and this book actually pointed out things I could have done with my new husband to improve the quality of my marriage.
You will love both the characters: a determined law student (with a little temper) and an Irish-American girl with dreams and hopes (and a secret past involving a stepfather). In most modern books, the guy would have ended up being a wife beater and the girl would have had issues regarding being molested. This book could have been like Terri McMillan's "Disappearing Acts" with dsyfunctional characters trying to make it. Instead, we truly believe the characters love and respect one another and the author is not afraid, even in her time, to allude to subjects that have become standard fare in recent years.
The girl, is thankfully not a wait-on-your-man-don't-express-a-single-thought-of-your-own type of gal. And the guy is not of the all-men-are-dogs type. She has opinions and he has drive. She seems to have dreams of her own and her husband slowly comes to accept it. He makes his sacrifices for the family to stay together. They argue and make up. I recommend giving this book to an engaged couple so they can learn how to start their marriage right with committment and respect.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this is the same author of the book "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn", a book I've never read but a movie I've seen. It turns out that "A Tree..." is one of my mother's favorite books, although she remembers it being behind the library desk and not on the open stacks due to a rape scene.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Mitchell on April 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Weeping my endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning"-So begin the pages of Betty Smith's novel, Joy in the Morning. Within these pages we meet Annie and Carl, a young couple struggling against the tide, to make the first year of their marriage work. Carl is a twenty year old law student, who gets cut-off financially from his family when they learn he has married Annie, an 18 year old girl from an uneducated, and poor family. The story chronologically walks us through the first year of marriage for Annie and Carl in an extremely simple, yet touching way. The writing style is simple, but effective. Annie is an optimist and though she feels that she doesn't fit in amongst the college students and the scholarly life, has an innocent zest to learn and adores books and writing. Carl, more of a realist, is a hard-working student who struggles to find time to be a good student and husband as well as provide financially. Blended in, are a rich cast of characters from the local grocer, Henry to the caring landlandy, Mrs. Hansmon, each adding a touch of humanity and warmth to the story.
This book should not be compared to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but based on its own merit. It is a feel good, comfort book, best described as wholesome, yet insightful. Yes it is simplistic at times, but it works. What the reader is left with is that love can endure, through sacrifice and trial. We can't do it all alone, it is only through the help of friends and community as well as faith. It reminds us, that if we are patient, we can all look toward tomorrow and find joy in the morning.
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