Joy in the Morning
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Joy in the Morning

4.5 27
by Betty Smith

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“A glad affirmation that love can accomplish the impossible.” — Chicago Tribune

"Weeping, laughing, raging, exulting... Intensely emotional... Inspired." — New York Times

Joy in the Morning is the magnificent million-copy bestseller of young love and marriage by Betty Smith, beloved author of A Tree Grows


“A glad affirmation that love can accomplish the impossible.” — Chicago Tribune

"Weeping, laughing, raging, exulting... Intensely emotional... Inspired." — New York Times

Joy in the Morning is the magnificent million-copy bestseller of young love and marriage by Betty Smith, beloved author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Tomorrow Will Be Better, and Maggie-Now. In 1927 Brooklyn, teenagers Carl Brown and Annie McGairy meet and fall in love. Through hardship and poverty, their commitment perseveres, and soon they realize that their greatest sources of strength, loyalty, and love will help them make it through, together. Joy in the Morning is, in the words of Best Sellers, “a human-hearted song of joy” from the immortal Betty Smith.

Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
A glad affirmation that love can accomplish the impossible.
New York Times Book Review
A more dauntless heroine or a more appealing one has not turned up in a current novel in years.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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P.S. Series
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5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
HL670L (what's this?)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

It was an out-of-date town ball in an up-to-date progressive college town in a midwestern state. The corridor was long and dark with narrow benches at intervals against the wall, and a brass cuspidor by each bench.

Although the year was 1927 and few men chewed tobacco any more, no one had the authority to get rid of the cuspidors. So they stood there. Each morning the janitor polished them and put a fresh half inch of water in each as janitors had done before him for the past fifty years.

One of the benches was occupied by a boy named Carl and a girl named Annie. There was a small, red, very new suitcase on the bench next to the girl. She gave it a possessive pat from time to time. The boy chain-smoked, which made him seem nervous even though he wasn't.

Although he was known as Carl Brown, the boy had started life as Carlton Braun--the Carlton after the father's boss. Mr. Braun had worked for Mr. Carlton since the age of twelve. The work was hard, the hours long, the pay low, and the raises scarce.

Whenever he asked the boss for a raise, Mr. Carlton would put his arm around Mr. Braun's shoulder and tell him in a mellow voice, not to worry, son. He'd be taken care of, son. When he, Mr. Carlton, passed away, there'd be some bonds in that there safe, made out to William Braun.

So when the baby was born, they named him Carlton so the boss would be sure to remember the bonds. When the boy was six years old, Mr. Carlton died. When they opened the safe, there were no bonds for William Braun, son. The disappointed father reduced the boy's name to Carl.

During the war, when people were running around hollering,"Down with the Kaiser!" and changing sauerkraut to liberty cabbage, Mr. Braun, by due process of law, had his name changed to Brown. Although he had been born in Germany, he wanted no one to mistake which side he was on.

Thus evolved the name Carl Brown.

There was no complication about the girl's name, Annie McGairy. She had been christened Annie after her German-born maternal grandmother, and the McGairy, of course, was donated by her father, who had been born in Dublin, Ireland.

Carl was a handsome boy--tall, blond, and with a manly look of maturity which made him seem older than his twenty years. His clothes were cheap, but he wore them so well that they looked expensive. He was neat in a casual way. Altogether, he was an attractive young man whom one couldn't help but notice.

Annie was eighteen but looked like a child of fourteen who had borrowed her sister's clothes for the day. She was small, slender but well made, and had long, pretty fight-brown hair which she wore in a knot at the back of her head. She had nice clear skin, a mobile mouth, and sad gray eyes. She wasn't a girl you'd notice especially except when she spoke. Then you'd have to notice her.

They sat close together on the bench, holding hands and waiting to be married. From time to time there was a little hiss as Carl threw a half-smoked cigarette into the cuspidor. At each hiss Annie squeezed his hand and said, "Nervous?" Each time he squeezed back and said, "No. You?" Each time she said, "A little." Then they squeezed hands together.

A woman clerk came toward them and Carl started to rise. "Keep your seat," said the woman pleasantly.

"Will we have to wait much longer?" asked Carl, looking at his watch. "We don't want to miss the game."

"Judge Calamus doesn't usually come in on a Saturday," said the clerk. "But he's making an exception in your case. We got in touch with him at his home and he'll be over in a few minutes."


"Now: You have the license?" Carl started to get it from his inside coat pocket. "Oh, I don't need to see it. Just checking," she said. "Where you folks from?"

"Brooklyn," he said.

"Both of you?"

Carl nodded. "But I've been here a year."

"He goes to college here," said Annie proudly.

"Med school?" asked the clerk.

"Law school," he said.

"That's nice," she said vaguely. She turned to Annie. "And how long have you been here?"

"Two hours," said Annie.

"She came in on the night train from New York," explained Carl.

"Then our Middle West must seem strange to you," she said to Annie.

"Oh, no. I had an idea what it would be like. I read books that were laid in the Middle West--like Winesburg, Ohio and Main Street and Sister Carrie. And to me the Middle West didn't seem much different than where I lived. Why, Sister Carrie could have been laid in Brooklyn as well as in Chicago."

Carl pressed Annie's hand in warning and she stopped talking. Annie noticed the clerk was staring at her in a strange way.

"Oh! Yes, well..." The clerk sounded confused. She started back to her office, saying over her shoulder, "The judge will expect a little something for his trouble, you know."

"I understand," said Carl.

"Carl, did I say something wrong?" Annie asked anxiously.

Meet the Author

Betty Smith (1896–1972) was a native of Brooklyn, New York. Her novels A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Tomorrow Will Be Better, Joy in the Morning, and Maggie-Now continue to capture the hearts and imaginations of millions of readers worldwide.

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Joy in the Morning 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book kept me on the edge of my seat, a romantic story that i couldn't put down. This book showed me that if i think i have faced difficuties in my marriage, look at how those two came through for each other in every need.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a treasure. Romantic, old fashioned, sincere, it reminds you to be grateful for the simple things in life and to cherish the people in your life. . Fast read, simple and true.
pandaJS More than 1 year ago
This is a truly wonderful book. It has been on my bookshelf since the nineteen seventies. I saw the movie several times and have read the book numerous times. The pages are getting a little yellow but to me it is that good of a book. Read it if you have a chance you will not be disappointed in it. It's probably the oldest book I have on my shelf. pandaJS
Bookworm95AO More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn", and I enjoyed this book EVEN MORE. It is a timeless classic; people should write books like this more often. It just comes to show that true love can survive poverty and hard times if you have the fortitude and the patience. :) It was v. v. v. v. good. READ IT.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Orla More than 1 year ago
I liked how this book told of the ups and downs of a marriage, instead of focusing on only the romance aspect. These characters were so real to me while I read the book that I felt as if I was reading the memoirs of a newlywed couple. I look forward to reading this again and I hope that others who buy it will enjoy this story as well.
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Anne_Marie1899 More than 1 year ago
Annie and Carl's story is one of love and happiness, but it's not without its hard times and that's something that makes this story so endearing.You go through the hard times with Annie and Carl, but at the same time you see how their love grows. You see how they cope and grow from their experiences. I have been recommending this book since I started reading it, and I will continue to recommend it in the future.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all-time favorite books. I have read it many times and I recommend it to everyone. I would have loved to have been able to sit down with Betty Smith over coffee to discuss her wonderful book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While reading this book I truley felt like a part of the story i laughed I cried it was incredible. I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What can I say? Betty Smith never disapoints me. If you loved 'A Tree Grows In Brooklyn', you will love 'Joy in the Morning.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I was looking for a book to read when I came across 'Joy in the Morning'. When I read this book, It made me feel like I was actually a character in the story. This book showed me that love can prevail through anything.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was about married life, and the ups and downs of it all. This book took me one day to read. It was cute and funny. If you are a tree grows in brooklyn fan, then you will like it. Its not as incredible or moving as a tree grows in brooklyn, but its wonderful anyhow!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is horrible! After about 50 pages in, I gave up, and returned the book back to the bookstore. The female character, Annie, in this book, is so terribly dumb but tries to play it off by being cute. She says 'funnel-melody' for fundamentally and constantly asks her husband to correct her bad grammar and word usage. This is a SORE disappointment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was and IS the best book I have ever read. It gave me so much hope for young love. It was such a sweet story ..sort of like Romeo and Juliet though because of the lack of support from either family, yet they made it. I loved it and recommend it to all!
Guest More than 1 year ago
it is great. well, i wasn't intending to pick that book. i was just on the way to look for my assignment book The Red Pony, but i found that book with that lovely title and a lovely cover. opened the book, seeing the little font letters made me dizzy, but....i gave it a try. now, it turned out a wonderful book. Beautiful decriptions!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I abosultely loved this book. It truly captures the picture of a loving yet, struggling young couple that together come out on top and endure what some never thought that they could go through with. This fictional novel is realistic which some might be able to relate to, and it is in a way, inspiring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book captures your heart right at the beginning. I started reading it whenever I was about 15 (just over 6 years ago) and have read it about fifteen times! I love this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. It captured my attention immeadiatly, and I found that I couldn't put it down. Annie and Carl are believeable characters, and their story is realistic,too. You soon find yourself feeling what they feel, and hoping for what they hope for. I loved it, and believe everybody should own a copy of Joy in the Morning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was not a slow moving book. I loved the details. This was a book that everyday people could relate to. It caught my interest right away.