Read Joy in the Morning by BettySmith Online


In Brooklyn, New York, in 1927, Carl Brown and Annie McGairy meet and fall in love. Though only eighteen, Annie travels alone to the Midwestern university where Carl is studying law to marry him. Little did they know how difficult their first year of marriage would be, in a faraway place with little money and few friends. But Carl and Annie come to realize that the strugglIn Brooklyn, New York, in 1927, Carl Brown and Annie McGairy meet and fall in love. Though only eighteen, Annie travels alone to the Midwestern university where Carl is studying law to marry him. Little did they know how difficult their first year of marriage would be, in a faraway place with little money and few friends. But Carl and Annie come to realize that the struggles and uncertainty of poverty and hardship can be overcome by the strength of a loving, loyal relationship. An unsentimental yet uplifting story, Joy in the Morning is a timeless and radiant novel of marriage and young love....

Title : Joy in the Morning
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060956868
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 296 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Joy in the Morning Reviews

  • Sarah Beth
    2019-05-10 01:16

    This is one of the loveliest, sweetest books I've ever read. It takes a mental adjustment to appreciate the time period, so don't get thrown off by the relationship in the early pages of the book. The reward of watching the young couple's first year of marriage unfold makes the early awkwardness, and, frankly, shocking first bits worth it and actually understandable. This is not a plot driven book, but really a sweet story of young love at a "middle western" college.

  • Trish
    2019-05-12 21:23

    Oh, this is just the sweetest, most realistic story of two young adults who are in love and naively believe that being together forever will solve all their problems. Annie and Carl quickly realize that getting married against their families' wishes will be the least of their worries. Annie is a dreamer, a reader, a warm and personable girl that everyone can't help but love. Carl is smart, passionate, funny and diligent, a hardworking guy who earns respect and kindness from all the superiors in his life. Together, they prove to be an unstoppable pair and achieve a happiness beyond what they could have imagined. If you loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, you'll enjoy Joy in the Morning. Betty Smith has created yet another cast of memorable characters and the setting is reminiscent of her own early days of marriage and auditing university classes. Overall, this story is authentic and heartwarming.

  • Amy
    2019-04-24 20:23

    My mom passed this along to me a few years ago, and I finally picked it up this week after reading something about it on someone's blog. It's hard not to love Betty Smith after "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," so I was optimistic about this one. It was very similar in style and pace to the aforementioned... unsentimental but leaving you cheering for the characters, hoping for them. I really wanted their lives to get easier, really wanted them to keep loving each other and not give up in spite of their fairly obvious flaws. And, remarkably, they do. There is much accounting of their meager finances and scraping by - to the point that you begin to feel tired with them. It reminded me of all I have to be grateful for - even the leaner years and struggles that seemed to last too long. I think it is always interesting to read other works by an author who has received acclaim focused on mainly one work. Looking at them collectively broadens the view of them individually.

  • Karen
    2019-04-25 01:28

    I love Betty Smith. If I could be a writer, I would hope my work would be similar to her style. She grew up in Brooklyn, and is most known for her book "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," which still ranks as my #1 book.I appreciate the way Betty Smith can make you attach to characters. You feel like you are peeking into their windows and watching it first hand. This story is based around a young, married couple in the 1920s, trying desperately to stay afloat. It is a struggle without feeling like a struggle. I felt so grateful for my education and the opportunities available to me as a woman in the 21st centure, but the main character never made you feel sorry for her. Empathy, but not sorrow. I loved how she connected with the sales people, landlord, and everyone in her small world. It made me want to reach out more.

  • Annie McCarty
    2019-05-11 20:35

    This book is endearing from the very first page. I read it in middle school, after a friend (Leah!) recommended it to me, and immediately fell in love with Annie (it helps that we share the same name!). I had already read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but this wasn't anything like I expected. Annie is completely charming, and will sweep you off your feet with her wholesome and winsome ways. The book follows Annie and Carl's lives as a poor but earnest newlywed couple in the 1920's. Their dialogue is simple, and there are no larger themes or pressing issues underlying the story. It is simply a book about a truly loving couple trying to make it together. It's about taking pleasure in the small things, like joy in the morning. Such a good book!

  • Emily
    2019-05-17 00:22

    Everybody seems to be comparing this book to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which is one of my favorite books of all time. You cannot compare this book or any book to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It is a classic and will always be one of the best. However, this book by itself is utterly charming and wonderful. One of the opening chapters where Annie, who has little education but loves reading and writing, says funnel-melody when she was trying to say fundamentally in a conversation with Carl melted my heart and will always be one of my top favorite moments in a book. This book is definitely on my top 10 favorite books and should be cherished! Stop comparing it to her other works and just enjoy it for what it is! A sweet book about young love and marriage and the little things that matter the most.

  • Susann
    2019-05-06 18:14

    I loved every page of this sweet and honest look at the first year and a half of marriage for young Annie and Carl. It's impossible to not love Annie from the moment she babbles - in her thick Brooklyn accent - to the Town Hall marriage clerk about all the Middle West books she's read. The love between Carl & Annie is true and, yes, uplifting. But Smith never descends into schmaltz or sentimentality. Because this is such a seemingly simple story, I wavered between giving this 4 or 5 stars. But then I thought about how only a writer as gifted as Smith could make this kind of story work. Not to mention how I twice came dangerously close to missing my subway stop, because I was so caught up in the book. That alone is a testament to Smith's talents.

  • Spider the Doof Warrior
    2019-05-07 20:07

    Here I am reading this book again. I love this book, but, it's interesting to learn so much about 1928. The money, for one thing gets a bit confusing as you could get so much more with 1 dollar back then than now. The frustrating thing is how few choices a woman had back then. Annie's main purpose was to get married and have babies even though she was somewhat smarter than her husband who would become a lawyer. Sometimes Carl would get so mad at her when she just wanted to do her own thing and so dependent. More later.7/17Read this book again, it's rather delightful in parts. I like Annie better than Carl. She's kinder, more dynamic and interesting and should be in law school herself or at least writing but she is regulated to the role of wife and mother and is aware of this. The casual racism and sexism of the time makes me wince. It gets frustrating, but I guess that is the late 20s for you. It will be interesting to live in a later time and wince at all the isms of this time and how they aren't the norm anymore. It's just a very good book if you already like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

  • Amy
    2019-05-02 00:23

    There was something so very special about this book to me. I wanted to read this one by Betty Smith because I liked "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" so much and I was also looking for a little nostalgia.Boy did I get nostalgia with this book. I love stories from the early 20th Century. We tend to romanticize that period of American History. I do anyway. There's something about the struggles and the ethics of those times that we refer to as "simpler". I guess they were simple, yet I don't think people who live in America today could handle the poverty and the hard times as easily.I had to smile when Annie was thrilled to have a banana split for her Christmas gift....that was so sweet. It made me think of how we buy so much bull shit for the holidays that people just don't need. A simpler time it certainly was.This is a sweet sweet story that I will probably read again someday.

  • Brian
    2019-04-23 00:18

    After reading and finishing "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," also by Betty Smith, I wanted to read something else that she wrote, so I picked up "Joy in the Morning," which she wrote 20 years later. It held my interest and was a quick read. Like "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," "Joy in the Morning" is a novel with an auto-biographical theme. It provides a fictionalized account of Betty Smith's first year of marriage to a law student attending a mid-western university (the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor) in the late 1920's. Annie, the main character, is only 18 years old when she marries Carl Brown, who is all of 20 years of age.It wasn't nearly as good as "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." But if you want to see what happens to Francie Nolan a few years after the end of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," you can pick up the story of Annie Brown in "Joy in the Morning" and not be disappointed.

  • Bailey Marissa
    2019-04-30 20:21

    A cute story about a young married couple's first year/year and a half of marriage. Also, it has something that I feel most people writing romance should pay attention to. You ready?It's a little thing called COMMUNICATION. THEY TALK THEIR PROBLEMS OUT AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL. Seriously, no more miscommunication in relationships. It's not necessary and also very annoying. *Gets off soapbox*15+ for marital discussions that are blunt (but not graphic) and language

  • Andrea
    2019-05-04 20:34

    If I could, this would be 3.5 stars. I felt like I was falling in love again for the first time with my husband. This story was a sweet love story and really had me reminising about courtship and being a newlywed. Anyone who has been poor and struggling as a newlywed, but so in love that it doesn't matter, will love relating to this book. It is an easy read and lighthearted.

  • Judy
    2019-05-04 21:25

    Sometimes even a reader such as myself needs a heartwarming book. The good thing about Betty Smith is that her version of heartwarming is always peppered with enough realism about the way life goes that she, narrowly, avoids sentimentality.I have read her most famous novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, several times. I will probably read it again someday. Joy in the Morning was her last novel. After reading it I learned that she devoted much of her writing life to plays. In fact Annie, the heroine of this novel, is a budding playwright and overcomes anything in her way to become one.It is 1927 when Annie leaves her Brooklyn home at the age of eighteen, against her mother's advice, to marry Carl. They had met in Brooklyn but Carl went off to a mid-western university to study law. Soon Annie followed. Carl's mother also opposed the marriage.The early years of any marriage always involve adjustments, especially in the days when couples did not live together beforehand and had rarely had sex. Often a young couple is not financially secure. All of this is the case for Annie and Carl and this story is full of hardship. Then comes the Depression and the first pregnancy.If there is one thing Betty Smith knows about life it is how women in those days provided the stability that makes a family, both emotionally and in the day to day practical matters. Annie is as dreamy as any young woman but she also has grit, a huge heart and a good sense of humor.So she uses her imagination to outwit adversity and her stubbornness to keep writing those plays. Add to that her wisdom in how to keep Carl somewhat settled down when he (as we say in our house) "gets like he gets," and you can't deny she is a wonder.I must say that all of Annie's lovely and admirable qualities do strain a reader's credulity but somehow I never care when reading Betty Smith. She just gives me hope and makes me feel happy. We all need that sometimes, right?

  • Beth Gordon
    2019-04-27 23:29

    I picked this book up because I loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn so much. Written by the same author, this is a sweet story about the first year of marriage of two young people set in the late 1920s. They love each other, want to be together, are a little naive, their families aren't supportive of them marrying so young, but they set out to prove that they can do it. I particularly enjoy it because neither give up their passion (him for completing law school, her for her reading/writing). They learn how to communicate and put each other's needs first. The main female character is a lot like Francie in a Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It's very apparent that author Betty Smith sees herself as this type of female protagonist. She has a passion for books, and that sometime conflicts with what she sees as her "duty" in being a woman. She felt she had less opportunity than her male peers, which is quite true for that day and age. Yet she comes across as not bitter. She seems like a really interesting person and someone that would be fascinating to have had as a grandmother. All in all, this was a great book about characters. Not a plot book by any means, but the richness of the characters make up for it.

  • Kressel Housman
    2019-04-30 01:35

    What amazed me the most about Betty Smith in the stage when I was devouring all her books was that she weaved together such different plots in the same setting: amongst Irish immigrants in Great Depression era New York. The heroine of this book is older and much more outgoing than Francie in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but she's also literary, and this is the story of how she comes into her own in exploring her gifts.

  • wanderer
    2019-04-26 20:24

    Where have you been all my life?

  • Kiersten
    2019-05-18 18:20

    Betty Smith, author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, wrote another wonderful book, and I had no idea until last week. This book is set in the late 1920s. Annie, from Brooklyn, marries Carl and moves to the Midwestern university where Carl is a law student. I believe that with all of the advancements we have made in the last 100 years, we have certainly lost some of the class and sweetness of my grandparent's generation. Annie and Carl are as poor as can be. They immediately face persecution from both of their families who think they married so young because Annie was pregnant, which is not the case. We discover that Annie is a treasure. Although she doesn't know how wonderful she it, Carl does. She discovers reading, cooking and (later on) motherhood. She also forms endearing relationships with the few people she meets.While the book is not fast-paced, or life altering, I loved reading about this simple couple, doing the best they could, and remaining so loyal to each other and what they wanted to become. My only criticism is that Smith could have actually ended the book a little bit sooner. Although she clearly sets up the future of this Annie and Carl, the reader has already come to know that this little family is going to be just fine.

  • Heidi
    2019-05-09 00:25

    A book written in the early 60s about a young married couple in the 20s struggling to make ends meet while the husband finishes law school and the wife has some early success as an aspiring writer. I believe this is somewhat autobiographical. A great follow up read after A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Takes you back in time to a different time, place and experience. I remember being charmed by the movie many years ago, and I think I enjoyed the book even more. I loved hearing about the details of their various struggles such as not knowing where the next meal was coming from,and the way that Annie, the main character drank up life through the everyday people she came in contact with and through her thirsting for knowledge by sitting in on classes and attempting to rewrite War and Peace. Even though she was so young and uneducated, she was always looking for ways to learn.

  • Caren
    2019-05-19 18:11

    This was recommended to me by a colleague. A nice little romance, it is the story of the first year in the marriage of a couple in 1927. The two married against the wishes of their families. He is a law student and she is quite young (she is eighteen, just of age to marry, and he is twenty)but she has already been working for four years. It tells of their difficulties (he in working several jobs while juggling classes, and she of her trouble in finding a job in her new setting). Along the way, she gets to know many people in her new community and the pair grow in their knowledge of each other. The most interesting thing to me was to read a short bio of the author included in my edition of the book. It seems that Betty Smith's own early married life closely matched that of her protagonists.

  • Maggie
    2019-04-28 00:23

    Betty Smith is my writing queen. Such a fabulous book - Smith tells a simple, believable story. It's great because of how unembellished it is. The book is a story of a young married couple who struggles with finances (is there any other kind?) living in the American Midwest during the late 1920s. Carl is a young man of twenty training to be a lawyer, and Annie is his eighteen year old bride. Like all of Smith's books, the story doesn't have much of a concrete plot - it flows along gently with the seasons. However, that doesn't mean it's a snoozer. The book takes everyday occurrences, like buying an alarm clock or writing a paper and turns it into something magical. It's a simpler, sweeter story than A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - and to me, a much-needed breather from the emotional TRAUMA of Maggie-Now.

  • Catherine
    2019-05-13 20:22

    What a sweet, honest, and completely endearing book this was! It's the story of a young marriage in its first year, and yes, while there are 'problems', they don't take over like they might in books written today. I think these days we've gotten a little too used to conflict as the catalyst of our plot trajectories. Anyway, what shines through in this portrayal of Carl and Annie's life together is the LOVE they have for each other, and that they always find their way back to, no matter how difficult their circumstances. I propose that every young couple read this book before they marry, and if they cannot admit in their heart-of-hearts their love for each other is just as grounded and vivid as Carl and Annie's, that they consider calling the whole thing off.

  • Ethan
    2019-04-30 23:37

    While not quite as consistently moving as A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, this was filled with more of Smith's simple and clear language that (and I am paraphrasing Annie Brown from this book) makes the inarticulate articulate.Smith writes with emotions and her characters feel real. Following the marriage of Carl and Annie Brown over a couple years in the late twenties, and all the trials and fights and new friends and hardships they face together is really fantastic slice-of-life stuff.

  • Jan
    2019-04-22 21:27

    Susann was right!!! This is a wonderful book!This intimate picture of a young marriage allows one to peek into the heart of Annie who left Brooklyn to marry Carl at the Midwestern university where Carl is in law school. Annie has a kind, sensitive, good heart and it fills the pages with her gentle and enthusiastic perspective on people and life. Oh how I wish there was a sequel!

  • Arlene Allen
    2019-04-24 17:18

    I put this in my personal favorites because as a teen and young woman I LOVED this book and resd it over, and over and over. I bought this edition a few years ago and tried to re-read it...and couldn't finish it. Sometimes growing up sucks.

  • Alisha
    2019-05-02 21:18

    So good! I tore right through it. I wish their were sequels so I could keep up with their lives. In the first chapter they get married and it's a little suggestive. I was worried that the book might be a little racy, but it wasn't.

  • Elaine
    2019-05-19 20:13

    Like many who have reviewed Joy in the Morning before me, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is my favorite book, and it took me a while to finally read Joy in the Morning because I was worried about the possibility of being disappointed. So glad I was wrong. While both ATGiB and JitM each rightfully deserve to stand on their own, it was fun to point out the similarities between the two. Once I started reading and really diving into JitM, I had a hard time putting it down. Throughout the book, I hoped for things to get better for Carl and Annie along with everyone around them who treated them so kindly. Their constant budgeting is humbling, considering how wasteful modern society is and how much we take for granted. Overall, another wonderful classic by Betty Smith.

  • Marian
    2019-04-24 21:08

    I read Joy in the Morning when I was quite young, and it was a formative experience for me. I enjoyed it quite a lot as an adult reader, as well. Wonderful characters, beautiful and seemingly effortless writing, and a simple but absorbing story. What can I say. I love this book.

  • Rachel M.
    2019-04-29 20:09

    A fictionalized autobiographical look into Betty Smith's younger years as a newlywed. It is a good read even though some of the relationship dynamics between husband and wife are hard for the modern reader to stomach.

  • Chloe
    2019-04-25 01:09

    This is the second book I have read by Betty Smith, author of my all-time favorite book, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. While Joy in the Morning lacks some of the depth of A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, it well worth the read. Smith has a way of describing and alluding to the harsh realities of life without losing the hopefulness of her protagonists. Annie of Joy in the Morning and Francie of A Tree Grows In Brooklyn live in poverty, but they strive and struggle to thrive. But this is no improbable rags to riches story. It is a beautiful portrait of a young couple in their first year of married life and the challenges that they face.

  • Saltlakecityhardys
    2019-05-07 23:16

    A Brooklyn couple marries and heads off to law school. Carl is bright and ambitious and his bride is hardworking and genuine. Through the kindness of a dean she discovers her own gifts even though she is not a student at the university. Annie befriends all that she meets and the reader enjoys many varied characters through her associations and friendships.Young married life is lean and stressful but love and determination go a long way toward life's successes both interpersonal and academic.