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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Написано Betty Smith

Озвучено Kate Burton


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Написано Betty Smith

Озвучено Kate Burton

оценки:
4.5/5 (312 оценки)
Длина:
14 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Jul 31, 2005
ISBN:
9780060856083
Формат:
Аудиокнига

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Примечание редактора

Coming-of-age classic…

This classic coming-of-age introduces the now-famous arboreal metaphor for socioeconomic diversity, generational differences, and personal development.

Описание

A moving coming-of-age story set in the 1900's, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn follows the lives of 11-year-old Francie Nolan, her younger brother Neely, and their parents, Irish immigrants who have settled in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Johnny Nolan is as loving and fanciful as they come, but he is also often drunk and out of work, unable to find his place in the land of opportunity. His wife Katie scrubs floors to put food on the table and clothes on her childrens' backs, instilling in them the values of being practical and planning ahead.

When Johnny dies, leaving Katie pregnant, Francie, smart, pensive and hoping for something better, cannot believe that life can carry on as before. But with her own determination, and that of her mother behind her, Francie is able to move toward the future of her dreams, completing her education and heading oft to college, always carrying the beloved Brooklyn of her childhood in her heart.

Издатель:
Издано:
Jul 31, 2005
ISBN:
9780060856083
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Также доступно как...

Также доступно как книгеКниге

Об авторе

Betty Smith (1896–1972) was a native of Brooklyn, New York. Her novels A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Tomorrow Will Be Better, Joy in the Morning, and Maggie-Now continue to capture the hearts and imaginations of millions of readers worldwide.


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4.6
312 оценки / 210 Обзоры
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  • (5/5)
    fantastic, one of my very favorites.
  • (5/5)
    understand now why this book is a classic. It tells the tales of growing up in brooklyn in the early 1900's.
  • (5/5)
    The story of Francie Nolan's coming of age, beginning at age 11 or so, and ending at 17. It is the story of her family: her alcoholic but loving father, her strong, hard-working mother, her younger brother, Neely, and a couple of aunts who make frequent appearances. It is a story of poverty in Brooklyn in the 1910s. It is a story of fighting to be your best self, no matter how many setbacks you face along the way.
  • (5/5)
    Francie Nolan is the third person heroine of this wonderful story of growing up dirt poor but strong in Brooklyn in the early 1900sHer family consists of mother Katie, Papa Johnny and brother Neely and Katie’s sisters Sissy and Evy. The family subsists on money earned by Katie as a cleaner as Johnny has a drinking problem. He’s a wonderful man and father but can’t provide. Francie provides the emotions, descriptions, dialogue, nuances and atmosphere of this very loving family which provides a strong moral compass for her and Neely.We follow her life from early childhood to her departure for college and feel how she feels with every episode in her life. Brooklyn is a very important character as the streets and neighbourhoods come to life in Francie’s World.What a great story, I wish I had discovered it years ago.
  • (3/5)
    This book is not your happy idyllic childhood/coming-of-age novel. It is sad. It is depressing. It is realistic for its time. The setting begins before the United States is involved in the war. Americans know that the war is coming at some point. Some are fearful. Others are excited.

    Poverty is a huge theme in the book. I cannot imagine struggling to earn just a few dollars a week and yet this was "the norm" in New York and other cities across the nation. Education was expensive. If you wanted to go, you had to work your tail off to afford the tuition.

    Francie Nolan lived a very tragic life. Her father's a drunk and doesn't really have anything going for him. He's not much of a provider. Her mother works a scrubwoman. Francie and her brother learned the value of a dollar at a very young age. They know that nickels, dimes, and pennies are not to be wasted on frivolous things. You stretch it as far as it will go. If you can stash some away for a rainy day, you were considered fortunate.

    I think what's most depressing is the realization that hardship is all they knew. Going the library was an escape for Francie. She still had her imagination and a love of reading and writing to feed her mind and soul. Most people resigned themselves to the hard life. Francie had goals and she worked hard to achieve them.

    Would I read this again? Probably not. While this was an "okay" book to read, I prefer something more light-hearted or witty.
  • (5/5)
    While told in the third person, this book is seen through the eyes of the character Francie Nolan, daughter of Johnny and Katie Nolan and older sister by one year just about exactly, Neeley Nolan and much later, Annie Laurie. It is hard to describe what this book is about as it doesn't really have a plot. It is about the Nolan family who lives in Brooklyn from about 1906 to 1918. They live in three houses, having to move for various reasons usually because a family member has embarrassed them to their neighbors and they cannot face them anymore.The other characters in the book include Katie's sisters: Evy who likes to talk and do impressions and is married to an unhappy milkman whose horse hates him and who plays instruments; Sissy who has been "married" three times and is on husband number three and has a tendency between husbands to sleep around. Technically she never divorced husband number one because they are Catholic and don't believe in divorce so she is a bigamist. She also has given birth to ten dead children; Granma Mary Rommely who teaches Francie the old stories from Austria and worries over her daughters.Francie and Neeley pick up scraps of metal and rubber as children to take to the scrap yard for pennies. They keep half for themselves and give the other half to their mother who puts it in this metal star bank she created that is collecting money so that they can one day own some land and have a house of their own on it. This was something that Granma Rommley suggested that they do. Katie scrubs floors to pay the rent of their apartment while Johnny sometimes gets work as a singing waiter. He brings home his wages but drinks away his tips. Johnny is an alcoholic and a weak but handsome and charming man. Katie is a strong, sensible woman who never falters and will die before taking charity, but loves Neeley more than Francie and Francie will figure this out.Francie wants to be a writer but has doubts about her work being any good due to a teacher at the school. She doesn't have any friends like Neeley does and spends her time lost in books reading one a day. I really relate to Francie because I too didn't have many friends growing up and I escaped into the world of books. I also had a younger brother that I looked over as she does Neeley.Katie believes in education and since the children were little she had them read two pages from the Protestant Bible because her mother said that it would be better for them to read and the complete works of Shakespeare. Katie wants her children to stay in school all the way through college, but things get tight and they barely graduate eighth grade which is considered the end of elementary school. She needs one of them to keep working and she chooses Francie because she believes that Francie will find a way to get to college while Neeley won't and must be made to go to school.While this book is autobiographical thinly veiled as fiction, some people will say that this book exemplifies the immigrant experience and racial slurs and stereotypes of the time as well as a look at the poverty and socioeconomic levels of society at the time. Perhaps it does that in its way, but mainly it's about a girl growing up in Brooklyn who is like the tree outside her house that they eventually chop down and try to destroy but it grows back. Nothing can keep Francie down for long she just continues to grow no matter what. Her roots, like that tree, are in Brooklyn. And maybe that's the real lesson to take from the story: to never give up, no matter what and keep hold of your dreams, they are something to reach for. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.Quotes Francie couldn’t understand why the heroine didn’t marry the villain. It would solve the rent problem and surely a man who loved her so much that he was willing to go through all kinds of fuss because she wouldn’t have him wasn’t a man to ignore. At least, he was around while the hero was off on a wild-goose chase.-Betty Smith (A Tree Grows In Brooklyn p 462)“Someday you’ll remember what I said and you’ll thank me for it.”Francie wished adults would stop telling her that. Already the load of thanks in the future was weighing her down. She figured she’d have to spend the best years of her womanhood hunting up people to tell them that they were right and to thank them.-Betty Smith (A Tree Grows In Brooklyn p 680)“Dear God,” she prayed, “let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry…have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere—be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.”-Betty Smith (A Tree Grows In Brooklyn p 876)
  • (4/5)
    Great book. Francie Nolan is the "hero" of book nerd girls everywhere. :)
  • (5/5)
    Love, love, love this book!
  • (5/5)
    delicious, heart-warming book.
  • (5/5)
    So many reviews were already written about this book. So I only thank want to thank a very good friend for recommending and lending me this gem. I had very special hours reading it. I laughed and cried with the characters and enjoyed reading about their lives in a country and a time far away from my own, but nevertheless finding similarities between my life and my feelings and theirs.
  • (5/5)
    Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In today's world, it's ground zero of the hipster renaissance. It's more expensive to live in Brooklyn lately than it is to live in Manhattan. But it wasn't always that way. A century ago, when A Tree Grows in Brooklyn takes place, Williamsburg was where the immigrants and/or poor people lived. People like Francie Nolan and her family.If you're a fan of plot-driven novels, this probably isn't going to be the book for you. Nothing much really happens...two young people, the children of Irish and German immigrants, meet, fall in love, and marry. They have two children, a girl and a boy. The father, Johnny Nolan, is charming and sweet-natured but fundamentally weak, incapable of holding down a steady job because of his alcoholism. The mother, Katie Nolan, is strong-willed, hard-working and tries but fails to hide her preference for her son over her daughter. The family lives in poverty, barely scraping by, as the children grow up. Francie, the daughter, is the center of the story, and the plot is largely about her poor but otherwise mostly unremarkable childhood.But for me personally, I didn't even really notice that there was less in the way of plot, because the characterization and quality of writing were so strong. The shy and bookish yet resilient Francie and her world were apparently an only thinly veiled version of author Betty Smith's own childhood experiences, and a feeling of lived emotional truth resonates throughout the novel. Smith's prose isn't showily beautiful like Vladimir Nabakov's, but she strikes home keen insights about childhood and growing up with elegance and sensitivity. The characters are all people that exist in the real world: the good-natured and lovable but ultimately feckless overgrown child, the harried parent who has to stay strong enough to keep it all together at the expense of their own emotional wants and needs, the standoffish person who holds themself apart and pre-rejects everyone else before they can be rejected, the younger sibling who manages to get away with more than the older sibling would have ever thought to try. It may be set 100 years ago, but the story it tells is still meaningful today.
  • (3/5)
    This is the story of a young girl growing up at he beginning of the 20th century in poverty circumstances caused by her father's alcoholism as well as her parent's lack of education. Francie is told that she needs a good education by the adult members of her family and she strives toward success but is hampered by teachers who are unsupportive of the "poor" kids.Many aspects of the differences between the early 20h century and current day are obvious . I read this book for my book club and though few of us were enthusiastic about the book, it did garner a great a discussion.
  • (5/5)
    A classic coming-of-age novel for girls. Whether you're 13 or 103 this book is not to be missed.Francie comes from a family so poor they sometimes go for days without food, but in reading this novel what always comes through is the love the family has for each other, the strength of character each member of the family has, the humor, intelligence and good old-fashioned Irish storytelling.Furthermore, Francie is a lover of books, determined to read her way through every book in their local public library. Avid readers will recognize themselves in Francie, will love her for it, and will love Betty Smith's book.
  • (4/5)
    "The last time of anything has the poignancy of death itself. This that I see now, she thought, to see no more this way. Oh, the last time how clearly you see everything; as though a magnifying light had been turned on it. And you grieve because you hadn't held it tighter when you had it every day. What had Granma Mary Rommely said? 'To look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.'" Published in 1943, this classic coming-of-age novel is set in Brooklyn in the first two decades of the 20th century. The second-generation daughter of Irish immigrants, Francie Nolan grows up in debilitating poverty but with a love of reading and a delight in life. Slowly paced by today's standards, the story unfolds simply and poignantly, providing a glimpse of early 20th-century life. With both optimistic and sober overtones, the themes of family, immigration, poverty, and growing up emerge through a varied cast of characters who are vividly memorable.
  • (3/5)
    A very predictable story of the coming of age of a young girl. Great time period piece.
  • (4/5)
    A memoir of a childhood in Brooklyn and a child's gradual realisation of the true lives of adults.
  • (5/5)
    I am so glad I read this book--it's absolutely wonderful. Wise, warm and heartbreaking. And great historical information. I would never have thought anything could pique my curiosity about the history of Brooklyn!
  • (4/5)
    Having little time to read, this was a slow starter. Unlike contemporary fiction with the "page-turning" literary device I don't know the name of, Ms. Smith's book passed like time, some days more interesting than others. A portrait of Brooklyn in the early 1900's through the eyes of a young girl. I think I was reading the original edition with the cover illustration of the 'tree of heaven' growing up alongside a brick building with the bridge connecting it to Manhattan in the background. The pages were so worn and silky they were hard to turn. I couldn't help feeling like I was reading it along with all the others who'd checked it out from the library before me. All of us sharing this intimate history together as if it were our own.
  • (5/5)
    The story of a young girl and her poverty-ridden family in 1910's Brooklyn.An excellent story, lovingly told. I enjoyed this one a great deal; the characters will stay with me for a long time (one of my favorite things about a good book).
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorite books of all time. Must read.
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorite books of all time, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a book I purchase for each of my nieces as they make the journey from child to adult, and so far, each of them counts this book among their all-time favorites as well. A coming-of-age story, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn spans across several years shortly after the turn of the 20th century and deals with such issues as poverty and alcoholism around the time of World War I, but the main theme is about rising above adversity and difficulty to succeed.Beautifully written, Betty Smith tells her tale in an engaging and timeless way. My two older nieces (ages 20 and 16) both love this book as much as I do.
  • (4/5)
    I think I would have loved this book if I'd first read it when I was 13 or 14. It's the sort of book that makes you grasp for words like "poignant", "touching", "heart-warming" and - I tremble at the thought - "evocative". It's an unexpected mix of a classic 19th-century aspirational self-improvement narrative with some early 20th century social realism - very much in the tradition of Dickens and Louisa M Alcott, but with a few shovelfuls of Sinclair Lewis and John Steinbeck (maybe even D.H. Lawrence) influence thrown in. There are some witty and superbly inventive bits of writing, and it's not surprising that people fall in love with the book. The opening chapter would make a fantastic short story. The descriptions of what it feels like to live in poverty ring true, and stick with you even if you've read a hundred other books about that kind of life or heard about it first hand from your grandparents.But the book is almost 500 pages long. We know more or less from the outset where the plot is headed, but it takes it forever to get there, and there are plenty of lead-footed moments: the narrator's interminable moralistic voice-overs, the almost vomit-inducing steadfastness and strength of character of Francie and her mother Katie, the protracted and constantly foreshadowed downfall of the alcoholic father, the improbable deus ex machina who plucks them out of the gutter with all the subtlety of the final chapter of a Dickens novel, etc., etc.Fun, but not a book I would put in my suitcase for the proverbial desert island.
  • (5/5)
    Betty Smith's autobiographical novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a beautifullly written coming-of-age story filled with warmth, emotion, and wisdom. Francie Nolan, born at the turn of the 20th century, copes with her life of poverty in the Williamsburgh section of Brooklyn. Throughout the novel, remarkable flurries of detail enable us to experience the everyday life of Francie, her hard-working mother, alcoholic father, younger brother, and her extended family. The author effectively captures the joys and hearbreaks of life through Francie's perceptive eyes. And the pitch-perfect dialogue crackles with authenticity, adding great depth to the personality, emotions, and motivations of the characters. This is a true classic of American literature
  • (5/5)
    This book should be read at least once a decade throughout your life.
  • (4/5)
    Great book. Francie Nolan is the "hero" of book nerd girls everywhere. :)
  • (4/5)
    Classic coming of age story about Francie Nolan and her and her family's life in early 1900s Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This has been on my to-read list for a long time and I am very happy I read it now that I just came back from a trip to New York and Brooklyn since it made it a lot easier to picture the places the narrator is describing. Even though it's not a very eventful novel (and can sometimes feel slow), its pacing works so well with the characters and their life and the descriptions of the tenements and the everyday life that was lived in the neighborhoods at the time - the early 1900s is very well evoked and smells and sounds are easily imagined. It's not strange that this has become a classic - the history books very rarely deal with "normal" people and here they are brought to life with a huge amount of humanity and respect.
  • (4/5)
    A novelized account of the childhood of the daughter of Irish/Austrian immigrants, a girl named Francie living in Brooklyn, NY. Francie describes the ways the family scrambles to get food and other necessities--such as joining the long line of children bringing cans and other recyclables to a dealer so that they can get a few pennies. They have a hard life because their father, while a lovable and warm hearted man, drinks too much and only works occasionally as a singing waiter. The children (Francie and her brother Neelie) put every spare cent that they can in a tin can bank, hoping that one day they can have some land of their own. The book flashed back to how Francie's parents, Katie and Johnny got together and shows how each generation influences the next. Francie has a strong desire to learn and get a good education. Yet at times she is called upon to sacrifice her own dreams so that her brother Neelie will succeed. By the end of the book the family has found success in improving their lot--but has also endured terrible tragedies. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is long and there may be some sections that are less enjoyable than others, but overall the writing is lovely and descriptive. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys coming of age stories and stories about overcoming enormous odds to succeed.
  • (5/5)
    A re-read. I had forgotten how dark this book is. The themes of prejudice and intolerance are sadly resonant of our current climate. People love to blame the poor for their plight, even if they're children.
  • (5/5)
    A wonderful, poignant coming-of-age story, capturing pre-World War I Brooklyn as seen through the eyes of young Francie, a girl of grit and determination. As a social documentary, it captures the struggles of the poorer working class of Brooklyn of the time period and warns of how pride can be both an anchor of protection and a lodestone that can drag you down. As a coming-of-age story, Smith has provided the perfect protagonist in Francie, capturing all of her hopes, fears, dreams and the crushing realities of growing up while trying to rise above the teeming milieu, even when all of the cards seem to be stacked against you. After reading this one, I can see why it was such a popular book when it first came out in 1943 and why it remains such a popular book, even today.
  • (3/5)
    This was a reading assignment in school when I was about 13. I read the book again years later and liked it much better than when I was forced to read it. In reading it the second time I realized that I had seen the movie made from the book. The story was, over all, excellent. The central character was so realistic; I expected to find her sitting in my living room.