Joy in the Morning

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Joy in the Morning, by Betty Smith
I enjoyed reading this. Everything I've read lately has been sad, bittersweet, or grappled with epic conflict and lost. So it was good to read a nice story, for a change.

Betty Smith also wrote "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and it was similar to "Joy in the Morning": plucky heroines who grew up in poverty, strong mothers, rites of passage, and absent or menacing father figures. This book didn't have the same scope as ATGIB, only focusing on the first year of marriage for a young couple. It was set in 1928 in a Midwest (or "Middle West") college town. It described their ups and downs, struggle to make ends meet, and how their relationship grew. Basically, it described a good marriage and reminded me of my own, which is probably another reason why I liked it. Neither mine nor the heroine's are perfect, of course, but it showed two people who were committed to each other and determined to make it work.

It was a simple story, but the characters were rich and the tone was positive. The author obviously had personally overcome poverty and believed that it was possible for others to do the same. This was a quick read which will probably stay with me for a while.


Barbara said...

I loved this book too, and I have read it twice, perhaps three times. It's just lovely and heartfelt and sweet. And, there's a place for that.