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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The small caption on the top of the book says it all, "...one of the Books of the Century" and that is simply not an understatement. I said in my book list post last December that I have had this book sitting on my shelf for awhile and couldn't believe that as an English major, had never had this on a syllabus before. Every single American should read this book. It is well written, with gentle irony and spectacular metaphor used throughout. The themes are timeless, and universal. It has a happy ending with a sad and long intermission.

Francie, the main character, grows up very poor in Brooklyn, New York, at the turn of the century, and the story follows her throughout her school days, first (and a succession of) part time job, and up until the day she leaves for college after the first World War has started. That, however, doesn't even come close to summing up the themes of poverty, immigration, and humanity rolled into an easy 500 pages. I thought this book would be hard to get through because it is a classic, and long. I read this in about a week and wanted to read it every spare moment I had.

As far as ranking, no less than 5 stars would be suitable. As I was thinking where I would rank it on my own scale of "favorites", it really and truly is giving my all time favorite, The Bell Jar, by Slyvia Plath, a run for it's money. It is a close second right now for sure. Without a doubt it will remain in the inner circle for a long time. I can't wait for you to read it and tell me what you think!

Comments

I ran across your link on SouleMama...this looks like an interesting read! Lecia
Lori said…
this was one of my favorite books when i was a child. i need to leave it where my 11yo can find it. :^)

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