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Saturday, November 28, 2015

November Book Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

My favorite read for the month of November was a re-reading of one of my favorite classics, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

The book is set in the early 20th century in the slums of Brooklyn. It's a coming of age story about a little girl named Francie Nolan who lives in extreme poverty with her hardworking but uneducated mother, her loving but alcoholic father, and her little brother Neeley. Her parents are the children of immigrants who have to struggle to survive, and life is hard for the family. In fact, it reminded me of Angela's Ashes and Francie's character is a bit like Frank McCourt's American counterpart. Francie is a sensitive girl trying to make sense of the harsh world she was born into and during the course of the book she slowly grows up to be a young woman with a bright future despite the hardships of her childhood.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn captures something of the American spirit in the early years of the 20th century when immigrants and first generation citizens were struggling to make a life for themselves here. There is sadness and struggle and plenty of harsh realities, but also love and beauty and resilience. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is an American classic and well worth a read if you like stories about the human condition and the triumph of the human spirit.

6 comments:

  1. I remember reading that book when i was so young, too young to understand i think, i shall look for it again.

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    1. I'm sorry this review was so short, I was typing it out on my phone in bed last night. The last few days at work have really taken their toll on me and I haven't had much energy for writing (or anything else).

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  2. It sounds well worth reading. As it is, you say, a classic, I am sure it will be available on Kindle. I'll have a look.

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    1. I have a digital copy on my Nook, so I imagine you can!

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  3. I think I read this in school ages ago. I should read it again.

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    1. It's a lovely book, if heartbreaking at times.

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