Title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Author: Betty Smith
Quite frankly, I don't think I would've read this book if I'd had to read it in school. The only reason I decided to read it was because it was on a list in a reading challenge I was doing and this seemed like the most interesting book of lot. Honestly, I'm so glad I chose this book because I absolutely loved it!
What's this book about? Well, it's a bit hard to explain because it doesn't exactly have a plot, it's more like a biography (even though it's fiction). A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is an American classic that focuses on an Irish-American family living in Williamsburg, a poverty-stricken immigrant neighborhood in Brooklyn. Set at the beginning of the 20th century, it mainly focuses on Francie Nolan, a young, perceptive and intelligent girl who loves to read and write. It narrates her struggles, heartaches and family relationships as she grows and tries to enjoy the simple things in life and make the best of her current situation.
This book has it all: love, betrayal, death, sadness and hope. It was so heart-warming and beautiful despite the constant reminder of poverty Francie and her family lived in, because even though the Nolans (and Rommelys- Francie's mom's side of the family) were penniless, their family bonds were strong and their happiness was more than money could buy. This book made be feel emotions along with the characters: sadness for the Nolans' financial situation, indignation when the schoolteacher treated wealthier kids better than the poor kids and both happiness and sadness when Francie graduated from school. I literally started bawling at the same time Francie did when she received the flowers and note from her dad on her graduation. This book was such an emotional roller coaster.
I also really liked the characters. Of course, Francie is my favorite because she reminds me a bit of myself when I was younger but the other characters were great as well. I also really liked Aunt Sissy because even though she may have been uneducated and a bit of a floozy, she had a huge heart, was kind and determined to do what she thought was right.
Overall, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is an amazing novel that will melt your heart. I definitely recommend it!