Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith

From Goodreads:  The beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness -- in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.
My Thoughts:  This is another book that I can not believe I have put off reading for so long.  Talk about a great book.  The story itself is sad and depressing but at the same time it is really hopeful.  Francie's character was so believable and I really felt for her.  The extreme poverty she and her family lived in was unbelievably bad but there still managed to be bright spots along the way.  Her family was a fairly loving one and I think that is what helped them survive all of the things they had to deal with.  I loved all the characters and how Smith wrote each of them so vividly; I could easily imagine them individually and not just as a mass of random people.  The one thing that I didn't love about this book was how fast the last few chapters went.  It felt like Smith tried to hurry and wrap up the story with a happy ending so it felt really rushed.  Otherwise, this was such a good book!  4 stars.

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