Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Book Review: A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith



I have read this book before. My MIL gave me a copy to read a few years back and I really liked the book. The good news is that I have such a horrible memory that I can read a book and a few years later forget major plot points. This essentially allows me keep my personal library quite small and this smallish library will keep me happy well into my golden years.

This book is a coming-of-age tale of Francie Nolan, a girl from Williamsburg (a slum in Brooklyn, NY). Francie is a fun, thoughtful, well-rounded character of depth and strength which she gets from her mother and a sensitive side which comes from her father. We start the book when Francie is in the summer of her 11th year. She aptly describes a day her in life in the first 6 or so chapters, the collecting of junk to make a few pennies each week, the penny candy bought from her new-found riches, the stale bread her mother has learned to cook with finesse, struggling to eat, live, work, and keep warm in the winter. This story spans from when Francie's parents meet and marry to when Francie goes off to college at the age of 17.

I know this book is a classic so my review doesn't exactly shed any light on this book, but I highly recommend this book. It is delightful, sad, fun, eye-opening, and touching. There is swearing, but as Francie explains these words are used as terms of endearment from a people who aren't educated enough to know the difference. No harm, no foul in my opinion.

6 comments:

Brent and Collette said...

Thanks for the book review. I've been wanting to read something but nothing sounded good. This does. I'll check it out tomorrow!

Aunt Beth said...

I remember reading this book sometime in my early teens. If my memory is correct, it was considered a bit 'too adult' for the age I was then. I remenber liking it a lot.

Aunt Beth

Brittany said...

i must've read the book the same time you did - when mom gave it to me to read. i too enjoyed it very much and have forgotten pretty much all of it - so i think i will go back and read it!

Holley, Dane Brien & Wesley Berry said...

This is one of my all time favorites. I read it every couple of years and it has become like a treasured friend. The story absolutely captivates me. Each time I read it there is a different character that I can identify with. The last time I read it, about a year ago, I could really identify with Katie's struggle to keep the family going despite her husbands problems. She is an incredibly strong and resolute woman and her story illustrates how women really are the backbones of the family.

Cote Corner said...

hhmmm. i might have to borrow this book!

Juliew8 said...

I am going to add this to my list. Thanks for the tip, I'm always looking for a good book to read. Right now I'm reading Princess Academy it is really good too.