Sunday, March 3, 2013
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
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.