Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Book 3 of 3 for the Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge
Book 1 of 12 for the 2009 YA Challenge
Book 8 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge

rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had never read this classic American novel before so I was excited my in-person book club chose it as our January read.  

Francie Nolan is a young girl, coming of age in poverty-stricken Brooklyn during the 1910s with an alcoholic father, a determined mother, and a brother who is truly her best friend.  Francie's mother has taught her that the key to escaping from the cycle of poverty is education.  So Francie sets out to do all she can to support her mother's wishes.  But deep down Francie and her father share a stronger bond that makes her life richer and more meaningful. 

There isn't really a strong plot, so I didn't think it was exactly a page-turner.  But it's told so beautifully that there were passages I actually pored over.  It's a story of love, grief and survival that I certainly recommend.  

I don't think I'll look at a penny the same ever again.  

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14 comments:

Sarah McBride said...

I really enjoyed this book. I remember liking it as a teenager, but was glad to pick it back up again. I think I appreciate it more now, and was able to get more from it this time around.
i am glad we chose it for the book club!!

bermudaonion said...

I'm sorry to say that I've never read this classic. It sounds like I need to look for it.

Andi said...

Oh, I love this book! Mostly because the first time I read it I was probably 17 or so. It resonated with me. But, I've enjoyed it the 2nd time around too.

bethany said...

I just bought this YESTERDAY!!! I have heard good things about it and decided if I ever saw it at our second hand store I would grab it. Thanks for the review!! I can't wait to read it now.

chan said...

You have so many books on my TBR list! I am definitely going to read it this year!:)

Melissa said...

I'm with bermudaonion; I thought I had read this, but the more I read about people reading it the more I realize that it's a case of I read something similar to it, but not quite it exactly. Hm. Probably should change that.

Charley said...

I just love this book. I agree with you - it's not a page-turner, but it's so beautifully told. Francie is certainly one of my favorite protagonists.

Ladytink_534 said...

I read this in middle school. I'd probably understand it better today if I re-read it though.

N said...

I read this one last year and LOVED it! LOVE! So great.

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

That last comment was from me. I didn't mean to go all cryptic!

Corinne said...

One of my top three books of all time

Kim said...

I followed you here from the Well Seasoned Challenge. I loved this book. It's so beautiful. Our book club had so much to talk about with this one. It was probably one of our best meetings ever.

Wegossips said...

Wonderful book,.. really,.. :)

Anna said...

I read this a couple of years ago and LOVED it. I wish I would've read it sooner. I agree about the lack of a strong plot, but I loved it all the same.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric