Thursday, February 26, 2009

Possibly Cheating

At a library book sale (an entire paper grocery bag full of books for $2.oo; I was ecstatic), I picked up a book called Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith. I was drawn to the book because of its cover (pretty yellow, with a flower), and the author. I couldn't place it at first, but as most people probably know if they've read it, Smith is the author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Great, great book. So I figured I would give this new book a try.

It was GREAT!

Seriously, I think more people need to read it, and it deals with a married couple, thus fulfilling the romance component I need to review it for the Romance Reading Challenge, so I decided to write a review for this in place of 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

In her book Joy in the Morning, Betty Smith relates the lives of Carl and Annie Brown, two young individuals who have been in a romantic relationship since their early teenage years, who decide to marry at the tender ages of 20 and 18 (respectively). The romance in this book is realistic and sweet, and I think it gives the reader hope that romance can occur in real life (some of us have grown rather cynical, by which I refer to myself, of course).

What makes this book great is the characterization. Smith manages to succinctly convey the characters' personality in this book. While the most fully fleshed-out character is Annie, the reader gets a feel for nearly all of the characters who appear in the book.

The main problem with this book wasn't a problem at all for me, really. Yet some people might not like the dated feel of this book. Written in the sixties, it is set in the late 1920's. Some of the language might seem a bit silly to a modern audience. I didn't have a problem reading it, though I might have giggled once or twice; overall, I felt that the original intentions of the author shone through clearly, and the language wasn't an impediment, but an enhancement. To me, the language helps me feel like I'm a voyeur in a different time period.

Honestly, I didn't want to put this book down. I am very glad that I picked this book up at the library sale, and I encourage people who are looking for a new, older book to read to give this a try. Smith's writing is a delight.

No comments: