A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Betty Smith
Literature
Jul 31, 2018
An immediate popular success, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn sold 300,000 copies in its first six weeks; by the time of Smith’s death three decades later, more than six million copies had been sold, and the adventures of her protagonist, Francie Nolan, had been translated into more than a dozen languages. It is easy to understand readers’ identification with Francie’s experience, even if their own lives have no ostensible common ground with that of the young girl collecting rags and copper, buying penny candy, stretching toward adulthood from the shadow of urban poverty. For the alleys and avenues that the story leads us down are not specific to Smith’s Brooklyn; they are the streets of childhood, the sidewalks of loneliness and yearning, the passageways of sentiment that carry us toward and away from home and family. They make up the neighborhood where the imagination grows up, and Smith’s poignant book delivers it whole, whatever the details of time and place.
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Oct 26, 2018
This was the first book where I saw myself in the heroine. Francie Nolan was, and is, me. I re-read this book every year or so, and find something new in it every time. MY FAVORITE BOOK - a must-read.
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Dec 6, 2018
A missed classic often. I first read it at age 18 and again in my 60s--still impressed me as a moving story of Americana.
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One of my all time favorites that cemented a love of reading in 5th grade.
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