A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

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Harper Collins, Jan 18, 2005 - Fiction - 528 pages
1655 Reviews

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.

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What a beautiful storytelling! - Goodreads
The introduction is a bit difficult to get through. - Goodreads
Not great writing, but a great book. - Goodreads
The writing is beautiful as is the imagery. - Goodreads
The ending was a bit disappointing. - Goodreads
I really like bildungsromans, but this one lacked plot. - Goodreads

Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

User Review  - Stephanie Brooks - Goodreads

Betty Smith's depictions of impoverished early 1900s Brooklyn working class city life was just amazing. Every time I picked up this book, I felt transported back in time, that's how vivid her ... Read full review

Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

User Review  - Chris Jaffe - Goodreads

I saw the Elia Kazan movie about 15 years ago and loved it - one of my favorites. So it's about time I got around to reading the book itself. Yup, loved it, too. Not surprisingly, the book is better ... Read full review

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Popular passages

Page 300 - And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger ; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Page 339 - The moon shines bright : — In such a night as this, When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees, And they did make no noise ; in such a night, Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan walls, And sigh'd his soul toward the Grecian tents, Where Cressid lay that night.
Page 422 - I am of old and young, of the foolish as much as the wise, Regardless of others, ever regardful of others, Maternal as well as paternal, a child as well as a man...
Page 211 - The boys sat on one side, and the girls on the other; and seldom, perhaps, has there been a company more under the influence of things unseen.
Page 5 - THIS is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Page 204 - And now get the hell out of here with your tree, you lousy bastards." Francie had heard swearing since she had heard words. Obscenity and profanity had no meaning as such among those people. They were emotional expressions of inarticulate people with small vocabularies; they made a kind of dialect. The phrases could mean many things according to the expression and tone used in saying them. So now, when Francie heard themselves called lousy bastards, she smiled tremulously at the kind man. She knew...
Page 202 - Savior's birth, the kids gathered where there were unsold trees. The man threw each tree in turn, starting with the biggest. Kids volunteered to stand up against the throwing. If a boy didn't fall down under the impact, the tree was his. If he fell, he forfeited his chance at winning a tree. Only the roughest boys and some of the young men elected to be hit by the big trees. The others waited shrewdly until a tree came up that they could stand against. The littlest kids waited for the tiny, foot-high...
Page 171 - But she was all painted and . . ." "She was one who had seen better days." He liked the phrase. "Yes, she may have seen better days." He fell into a thoughtful mood. Francie kept skipping ahead and collecting leaves. They came upon the school and Francie proudly showed it to papa. The late afternoon sun warmed its softly-colored bricks and the small-paned windows seemed to dance in the sunshine.
Page 110 - Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me ! Said by one youngster to another calling names.
Page 399 - To thee, O God, my God, I will give praise upon the harp : why art thou sad, O my soul? and why dost thou disquiet me?

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About the author (2005)

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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