OVERRIDE

Joy Comes in the Morning

A Novel

Jonathan Rosen

Picador

A Chicago Tribune Best Book
Winner of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award
Winner of the Chaim Potok Literary Award

Deborah Green is a woman of passionate contradictions—a rabbi who craves goodness and surety while wrestling with her own doubts and desires. She has vowed not to emulate those rabbis "who lie around the synagogue like neutered housecats," and has grown restless performing weddings while she remains single. Her life changes when she visits the hospital room of Henry Friedman, an older man who has attempted suicide. His parents were murdered in the Holocaust when he was a child, and all his life he's struggled with difficult questions: Can happiness really come after such loss, or does the very wish profane the dead? Can religious promises ever bring peace?

At the hospital Deborah encounters Henry's son Lev, a science reporter whose life has taken a turn for the worse since he abandoned his fiancée at the altar. Deborah is drawn to his skeptical intensity, and Lev finds Deborah's blend of piety and irreverence unexpectedly appealing. It is a love triangle with God as the third, maddeningly elusive player.

The New Yorker called Rosen's first novel "impressive . . . A highly original addition to the distinguished line of Jewish-American family romances." He has filled the promise of his first fiction in this contemporary story of classic scope, whose characters hunger for love, grapple with faith and doubt, and seek to bind themselves to something sacred in the midst of modern chaos.

REVIEWS

Praise for Joy Comes in the Morning

"In shimmering prose and with uncommon empathy, Rosen creates a cast of characters plagued by profound spiritual crises.... Not since Saul Bellow has an American novelist created characters so unabashedly determined to unleash their souls, to burst their spirit’s sleep." --Andrew Furman, The Miami Herald

"Rosen's charming yet serious novel--the Jewish equivalent in style, smarts, and topicality to Anna Quindlen's and Kent Haruf's bestselling morality tales—--grapples with nothing less than the endless conflicts between human nature and our perception of God, the intellect and the emotions, religion and science, the past and the present....Rosen’s radiant novel is a welcoming and satisfying inquiry into matters of inheritance, compassion, faith, and free will." --Donna Seaman, Newsday

"Rosen...offers a rare and vibrant portrait of a contemporary rabbi who is Reform, female, and complex....What is not predictable is how well the novel itself negotiates the balance between the spiritual and the comic." --Steven G. Kellman, San Francisco Chronicle

"What a pleasure it is to see such a serious and yet playful novel...Not since E.L. Doctorow's City of God have we seen such a literary effort to plumb the nature of belief--in Jewish-American culture, in Talmudic study, in prayer, in sex, in the very soundness of one’s own mind...He's irreverent even in the middle of the most reverent of scenes, like a Heller or a Roth complete with sardonic social commentary. Such moments abound in Joy Comes in the Morning." --Art Winslow, The New York Times Book Review

"Joy Comes in the Morning is, at its core, a love story...with suave prose, delightful narrative inventiveness and compelling ideas...[and] a wonderfully comic turn of events in the novel's s20final third." --Floyd Skloot, Chicago Tribune

"Beautiful...[Joy Comes in the Morning] fills the reader with happiness at the most unexpected moments. Mr. Rosen leads the reader through his character's emotions with old-fashioned assurance, and his dual mastery of sincere religiosity and searing embarrassment promises an explosive future for the family romance." --The New York Sun

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jonathan Rosen

  • Jonathan Rosen is the author of The Talmud and the Internet and the novel Eve’s Apple. His essays have appeared in The New York Times and The New Yorker, among other publications. He is the editorial director of Nextbook.
  • Jonathan Rosen Abigail Pope
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Joy Comes in the Morning

A Novel

Jonathan Rosen

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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