Why Didn’t I Read This Sooner: A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith

I’m going to use the category Why Didn’t I Read This Sooner for all the older books that I read that I feel like I should have read a long time ago. I mean really, these are great books, why didn’t I read them sooner.

First up for this category is: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith Read by Kate Burton

First off, I have to say that I believe that A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a must read for book lovers. The main character, Francie, finds escape and herself through reading and writing and this plays a key role in her life throughout the book.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn follows the Nolan Family living in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. The book is divided into five parts, each depicting a slice of time in the family life. The family consists of mother Katie, father Johnny, little brother Neeley, and Francie. But honestly, I’m sure I’m the only one left who hasn’t read this book?! The quick and short version synopsis of this that that the Nolan family is a poor family living in Brookyn. The father is an alcoholic and the mother works really hard to try to keep the family above water. She really just wants a better life for her children. In order to do this she makes sure they can read and write, they read Shakespeare and the Bible every night, and she tries her best to keep them in school to get an education, something that she didn’t get to have.

The book is elegantly written, even in the dark and some what grittiness of the life that Francie is living. The narrator really brought the story to life though. She truly gave a different voice to each of the characters and even sang some of the bits of songs in the novel.


So if you haven’t picked up this book, do it. I highly recommend the audio book version with Kate Burton narrating!

Leave a comment


  1. I like the premise, I’ll have to check that out!

  2. Oh no, another to add to the reading pile. Sounds wonderful.


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