Joy in the Morning
Betty Smith (Adult Fiction)
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Carl Brown and Annie McGairy are young and deeply in love. Just past her 18th birthday, Annie travels from her home in New York to the Midwest to join her beloved in marriage. Much to their mutual surprise, Carl and Annie’s first year proves to be unexpectedly difficult. Carl is attending the university studying law and holding down several jobs while Annie tries to adapt to her new surroundings without the security and familiarity of friends and family. Together, through lean times and unforeseen events, they must rely on their faith and love to pull them through.
What I admire most about Smith is that she gives us a strong, witty, and self-assured female character without diminishing her male counterpart. All too often we see one character being lowered for the sake of elevating the other. Despite their differences in education and social standing, Carl and Annie view each other as equals and share a mutual respect and passionate devotion for one another. This alone is refreshing to see in a novel.
Set in 1927, Smith presents us with a small university town populated with principled (albeit flawed) people who all share a strong work ethic, solid moral compass, and innate desire to be decent, kind, and fair to their fellow man. Her stories are charming and heartwarming without being overly sentimental or trite. A truly uplifting book that focuses on the goodness of humanity rather than its faults and follies.