Friday, August 30, 2013
Book Report - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Authour: Betty Smith
Length: 496 pages
How long it took me to read: 2 1/2 weeks
What it's about:
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
The ending is the most important part: There was no smashing ending, or major conclusion, but life went on to another chapter. I found that the story just ended with no major conclusion - she just went off to college.
Last word: Francie Nolan gets to join Besty Trotwood and Holden Caufield as one of my favourite fictional characters of all time. I very much enjoyed reading this book.
Spoilers after the jump:
I was so worried that this was going to be like Angela's Ashes. Same area, same time period, etc. I was so relieved.
Even though it took me a long time to read, I really enjoyed reading it. It took me a long time just because of the time of the month with the end of summer and going back to school.
I just loved Francie! She is a kindred spirit. The way she set up her little carpet and pillow on the balcony under the tree and read her books. The way she made up her stories. The way she watched over her family. I wanted to just put her in my pocket and carry her around with me for always.
I loved that they lived in Williamsburg which is one of the hipsterish of the hipster neighbourhoods. If only they knew how impoverished and desperate everyone was in that neighbourhood a hundred years ago.
I love that Betty Smith is autodiadactic just like Francie. Her descriptions and characters were delicious.
I was a bit disappointed that when I read the afterword and discovered that Betty Smith wrote things as they should have been, meaning that things really were terrible and not the lovely way that she described things.