Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

This is one of the best books I have ever read. I give it five stars. From the first page to the last, I could not stop reading it. Whenever I put it down, I couldn't wait to pick it back up again.

Why did I like it so much? Because the dialogue and emotions of the characters were so real and raw. I felt what they felt. I cried at the end of almost every chapter.

This is a coming of age story of a girl named  Francie who grows up poor in a tenement house in Brooklyn at the turn of the century. Her father, although very loving, is an alcoholic who can't hold a steady job. Her mother takes up the slack by cleaning apartments to pay their rent. Both of her parents were children of immigrants.

At times they have to get by drinking coffee and condensed milk for meals until money comes in. Francie and her brother Neely collect junk on Saturdays to exchange for pennies. When they are old enough, they get jobs to help support the family.

The book was published in 1943 by Betty Smith. It is largely autobiographical. She writes of poverty, love, death, life, hunger, pride, cruelty, and the struggle to survive. I loved this book. It is a must read.

1 comment:

  1. You might like the oscar-winning movie as well. It came out in 1945 and starred Joan Blondell and Dorothy McGuire. Directed by Elia Kazan.