A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Paperback)
As a child, Betty Smith's autobiographical protagonist is read one page each day from the collected works of Shakespeare, said to contain "all the wonder of life...; all that man has learned of beauty, all that he may know of wisdom and living..." For the same reasons, this "deeply, indelibly true" American classic ("a story about what it means to be human") is my all-time favorite novel.
-- Michael— From Michael G. Staff Picks
The American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
From the moment she entered the world, Francie needed to be made of stern stuff, for the often harsh life of Williamsburg demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family's erratic and eccentric behavior-such as her father Johnny's taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy's habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce-no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans' life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans' daily experiences are tenderly threaded with family connectedness and raw with honesty. Betty Smith has, in the pages of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, captured the joys of humble Williamsburg life-from "junk day" on Saturdays, when the children of Francie's neighborhood traded their weekly take for pennies, to the special excitement of holidays, bringing cause for celebration and revelry. Betty Smith has artfully caught this sense of exciting life in a novel of childhood, replete with incredibly rich moments of universal experiences--a truly remarkable achievement for any writer.
“A profoundly moving novel, and an honest and true one. It cuts right to the heart of life. . . . If you miss A Tree Grows in Brooklyn you will deny yourself a rich experience.”
-New York Times
“One of the most dearly beloved and one of the finest books of our day.”
“One of the books of the Century.”
-New York Public Library