Review: Joy Comes in the Morning

Sorry for the lack of posting over the weekend…did I forget to mention that I’m house sitting, AND I don’t have internet there?! But more on that later…

Anyway, it’s no secret that I’m a big Jew. I’m actively involved in Pittsburgh’s Jewish community, which is pretty rockin’ FYI, and one of my book clubs in kind of Jew-y. So for our last book club pick, we read Joy Comes in the Morning by Jonathan Rosen. The title comes from the beautiful Psalm 30: Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. 

The novel is about a reform rabbi, Deborah Green, and the son of a man she’s counseling, Lev Friedman. I don’t want to give too much away because it’s worth reading on your own, but I will say the characters each go on very unique spiritual journeys and encounter a lot of people and adventures along the way. I really grew to like Deborah and Lev and how they dealt with those things throughout the book.

Jonathan Rosen’s writing was also superb. It could have been possible to feel overwhelmed with the amount of Jewishness in the stories and struggles of the characters, but I found myself enjoying the prayers, the reflections, and how everyone dealt with their Judaism. It made me think deeply about my own relationship with religion.

While we discussed all this at last week’s book club gathering, I found it funny that it sounded as if we didn’t really like the book with how critical we were being! But that was just because there were so many good things to analyze. Then again….get a bunch of Jews together and you’re bound to hear some complaining 🙂


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