Joy in the Morning (Smith novel)

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Joy in the Morning
First edition cover
AuthorBetty Smith
CountryUnited States
PublisherHarper & Row
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)

Joy in the Morning is a novel by Betty Smith, first published in 1963. The book follows the first year of the marriage of Brooklynites Annie McGairy and Carl Brown, in 1927. Although told in third person, it is based on Annie's perspective. The book was made into a film in 1965, starring Richard Chamberlain and Yvette Mimieux.


Annie is 18 and Carl 20. Although both of their families are against their marriage, the couple weds anyway. They move to Carl's college campus where he is studying to become a lawyer. He quickly discovers that it is hard to keep up with school while trying to entertain a spouse.

With the help of the college dean, Carl and Annie are able to stay afloat in their new life together. Life seems to be going perfectly until Annie learns that she is pregnant. Because she is concerned about how Carl, her mother, and her mother-in-law will react, she keeps her pregnancy secret. After Carl discovers that Annie is pregnant, he takes on two jobs to support them and the baby.

After Carl's graduation, Annie and their child move to a different part of the state where Carl starts a law practice.


Smith was not pleased when she learned that the editors felt the book was much too long and cut nearly a quarter of the manuscript during their final edit.

Publication information[edit]

  • Smith, Betty (2000). Joy in the Morning. Harper Perennial Modern Classics. ISBN 978-0060956868.