I just finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I wanted to read it because it gets referenced in so many other works of art. Even rap songs mention this literary classic. Upon reading it, I can see why. It is a very poetic and touching book. I could barely put the thing down.
Normally I read a few pages of a book a night before bed. While I was reading this book, I would lie in bed, finish up a chapter and say to myself, “Come on, one more chapter.”
Often I would find myself unable to stop reading at one more chapter. It was easier to continue reading than to put it down. I ended up staying up a lot longer than I usually do while I was reading this book. At least now that I am finished reading it, I should get more sleep.
Set in the early 1900s, the novel focuses on a family that scrapes by the best they can. The main character is the small girl in this poor family. Since the story takes place over several years, we can see the idealistic young girl come to some harsh realities. We effectively get to see her grow up. I like how the author lets us into her life in such a personal way. It’s a moving story and moves along at a good pace.
I highly recommend this book. It’s a long book that clocks in a 483 pages but by the time it is finished, you will wish it were longer.