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Joy in the Morning

02nd March 2006

Joy in the Morning (Perennial Classics)My recent re-reading of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn inspired me to re-read another of Smith’s books-Joy in the Morning. This book follows the first year of marriage for a young couple. Annie and Carl married against their parents’ wishes, while Carl was still trying to make his way through school. Although very young and without a formal education, Annie is determined to make a good life for her and Carl. She easily makes friends with the people around her, she does her best to make their home beautiful, she supports Carl’s studies, and even begins reading, studying and writing on her own. Gradually, she develops from an insecure young house-wife to a competent, educated partner. I love this book for its simplicity, positive spirit, and of course, for the way it stresses the importance of education.

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Perennial Classics)This book has to be one of my favorite books of all time. I don’t remember when I first read it–middle school maybe? But every few years, I dig it out and rediscover it again. I’d be hard-pressed to describe exactly what I like best about this book. Overall I’d say that I love the Nolan family, who struggles not only to survive, but thrive, against great odds. But my favorite scene in the book is definitely when Francie retreats to her shady apartment balcony on a peaceful Saturday afternoon with a glass of ice water, a bowl of candy, a comfortable pillow, and of course, a good book. Does it get any better than that?