About a month ago our family took a little vacation to Colorado. I asked friends for some good book recommendations to pass the time in the car. One friend suggested A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
I loved it.
It’s one of those books that you pick up without any real expectations but then you get totally sucked in and want to keep turning reading to see what happens next but at the same time you hope that it will never end. When I did finally finish it, I sighed and smiled with the same satisfaction you get after you’ve slowly eaten and swallowed the last bite of a tiramisu.
This book is about a girl, Franci, who lives in the ‘slums’ of Brooklyn in the early 1900’s. It’s a coming of age story as the reader gets an intimate view of Franci’s life as she grows up from a young adolescent into a woman. It’s a story about life and death, about family and neighbors, about poverty and luxury, about drunkenness and sobriety, about the value and dignity of hard-work and the shame of laziness and entitlements, about kindness and charity, about selfishness and prejudice, about doubt and faith. It’s about all the ugliness of life…yet also about all that is beautiful.
I cried, I laughed, I sat on the edge of my seat, I relaxed, I felt sympathy, I felt anger, I felt love, I felt life. Franci became my very best friend for a few days. I will miss her dearly, but I’m so glad to have met her.
So if you have some down time, or even if you really don’t, go out to your library (or click on the link below) and treat yourself to a lovely escape with Franci Nolan.