Reading at the Beach is hosting A-Z Wednesday where bloggers take the time to highlight one book that starts with the letter of the day. This week is the letter J.
Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith is in my tbr stacks. I pulled it out and put it on the read sooner than later shelves (you can only imagine how overstuffed these suckers are!) because it would fit into the Seconds Challenge in which I am participating. I read her famous A Tree Grows in Brooklyn several years ago so this would be the second of her works for me. My copy is an older one, having lived unopened in my stacks for many years, but it is being re-released in June of 2010.
Amazon has the unappealingly brief: "A story about the difficult first year of marriage between a young girl from Brooklyn and a young law student," as its description. But a reviewer says:
In light of our terrible divorce rate in America, this book lets you know why those older couples you see who celebrate their 50th and 75th anniversary make it that long. I was married not too long ago and this book actually pointed out things I could have done with my new husband to improve the quality of my marriage.
You will love both the characters: a determined law student (with a little temper) and an Irish-American girl with dreams and hopes (and a secret past involving a stepfather). In most modern books, the guy would have ended up being a wife beater and the girl would have had issues regarding being molested. This book could have been like Terri McMillan's "Disappearing Acts" with dsyfunctional characters trying to make it. Instead, we truly believe the characters love and respect one another and the author is not afraid, even in her time, to allude to subjects that have become standard fare in recent years.
The girl, is thankfully not a wait-on-your-man-don't-express-a-single-thought-of-your-own type of gal. And the guy is not of the all-men-are-dogs type. She has opinions and he has drive. She seems to have dreams of her own and her husband slowly comes to accept it. He makes his sacrifices for the family to stay together. They argue and make up. I recommend giving this book to an engaged couple so they can learn how to start their marriage right with committment and respect.