Book 18 – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

My first impression of this book was a very bad one as the cover blurb said something along the lines of “In the best tradition of Angela’s Ashes”. For me, that’s a complete turnoff, so I very nearly didn’t even bother to turn the first page.

I’m glad I did because this is a delightful novel; warm, humerous and honest, it’s a coming of age story set in Brooklyn in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The society Smith depicts is always believable, describing as she does the harsh realities of life and death at the bottom of the social scale, but without being judgemental.

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