A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith

What a great novel !

Set during the early 1900’s in a small tenement area in Brooklyn, Francis and her brother Nolan grow up in the midst of being poor, suffering their own tragedies, laughter, hard work, and preservation that everything will work out for the better.

Amid being poor, the children having to collect scraps to have the family be able to put whatever food they can get on the table.  Francis’ father has been in and out of work as a singing waiter among his stints drinking and sobering up, so her mother has taken a job in the tenement they live in to have a roof over their heads, and food on the table.

Growing up poor meant doing things that other kids wouldn’t normally do to earn extra money for the family.  After tragic loss hits the family and Francis’ mother pregnant once more, they take to working in a pub down the street from where they live, among doing chores or errands for others to keep the family afloat.

Their parents wanted a better life for their children then they had in their own childhood.  Coming from countries all over the world, most people had little or no education, not knowing the language, trying to find work so they cold support their families.  A totally different time, yet the same principles apply today, at least I think so.

The strong, endearing characters, their strong narrative as much as they think they aren’t, just trying to live an existence in the ver changing world they are living in.  You will be in their world as an observer, walking along the street, full of laughter, joy, tears, among the resourcefulness of the cast of characters will have you admiring them and using them as inspiration in your own life if you so chose.

Lovely, lovely, poignant, full of feeling novel that was originally published in 1944, is ever relevant to this day as it was when it was published.


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