Friday, February 6, 2009

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Have you read this book? I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone claim that this is their favorite book of all time. Unfortunately, I think this may have caused me to go into the book with expectations that were a bit too high.

Please don't get me wrong...I did enjoy the book. I liked Betty Smith's writing, and I think her character development was fantastic. I really love the Nolan family (especially Johnny) with all their imperfections. But I wasn't completely blown away by the book.

This is the story of Francie Nolan and her family. They are very poor, living in Brooklyn at the turn of the 20th century. It's a coming of age story for Francie, and it's also a poignant look at life in the tenements. The tree from the title is largely symbolic throughout the book, as Francie struggles to grow and make life better for herself (and for her family).

I'll admit that I'm questioning my judgement of this book. How is it possible that I don't LOVE this book that so many others do? Obviously, everyone has different tastes. However, I also think it's quite possible that this may be the kind of book that grows on me. Perhaps the more I think about it (and discuss it with other women at book club next weekend), the more I'll like it. I think I might even read it again some day (as in, maybe a few years from now). I often find that I get much more out of a book the second (or even third) time I read it.

Total number of books read in 2009: 5
Total number of pages read in 2009: 2834


Katie said...

Your fast pace of reading puts me to shame!! I am lucky to get one book in a month.

Katie B. said...

I just saw this book at Barnes & Noble last night. I was debating whether I should buy it. After reading your post I'm still undecided!