50 Books: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

One of my to-do’s on my uberlist 2009 was to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betsy Smith, a book I’ve always meant to read but never got around to. So, thanks Brandy, for suggesting it. The main character, Francie, is one I’ve always assumed I would have a great connection to- a shy little thing, who loves to read. And I did connect with her, but the character who struck me most was Katie, Francie’s mother.

To be honest, I swung back and forth pretty harshly between despising her and completely understanding her. She made a number of choices that just made me seethe, and I wonder if it’s because her actions speak to my fears of having multiple children- you can’t always put both first, so what do you do? How do you push when you need to push, without making one or the other feel less for not being pushed?

That, combined with the wrenching and unflinching portrayal of poverty made it a tough, but very worthwhile read. The language is gorgeous and evocative, detailing the beauty in the everyday mundane things of the world. There was a plot point that I’m really surprised I managed to not somehow have had spoiled- it’s such a well known book that I’d think people would assume you’d know about it- but I’m glad I didn’t. It knocked me on my butt, as it was supposed to, and made me quite sad.

Overall, quite excellent.

Next up is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. I’m bound and determined to get some sleep some time soon, dang it!

Current total: 3
Just finished: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betsy Smith
Next up: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth

3 thoughts on “50 Books: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

  1. Hilary on

    I should read that book sometime.
    As for Healthy Sleep Habits, my friend lent it to me and it has been really helpful. I’ve only read the sections that seemed to apply to our issues, but my friend swears by it. As always, I’m inspired by your reading! 🙂

  2. i’m glad you liked it! i read it first when i was 11 (francie’s age), so i’ve always identified with her, but i should read it with some fresh eyes and look at katie more…

    love you!

  3. It sounds good! I should try it. I used to hate reading, and now I really love it! Thanks for the idea! I’m excited!

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