Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Book Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

I go in and out of reading phases - you know, where you read like crazy for awhile and then it takes over 6 months to finish a book, even a good one. Overall, I would say I am a reader, but one of the last books I finished was one of those 6 month books, yet it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith was utterly fantastic. My heart connected early on with the main character, Francie Nolan. Throughout the novel, the way she looks at the world, how words form within her, and how she connects to others all really spoke to me. I also really liked how faith, doubt, and the existence of God were woven throughout, but wasn't the focus of the novel.

This story takes place in the early 1900s in Brooklyn, NY. The Nolan family is poor, but getting by. The novel follows Francie, the oldest child of Johnny and Katie Nolan, throughout her childhood and early adolescence. We see their family struggles, the love in their family, and what everyday life in Brooklyn at the time was like.

I honestly laughed out loud and cried at different times. It was a fantastic read. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads.

Have you read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? If so, do you have any recommendations for books I may like that are similar? As it turns out, there is a film based on this novel that I would really like to watch - if you have watched it please let me know what you thought!


  1. Hi! I haven’t seen the film, but I loved the book! Maybe you’d also love Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt.
    I love this quote of the book:
    “Dear God,” she prayed, “let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry… have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere—be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is everlost.” Betty Smith

    1. Yes! That was one of my favourite quotes as well. I'll have to check out Angela's Ashes, thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Looking forward to reading this! Thanks for taking the time to write a review! :)


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