There are some books you read. And forget
And there are some books you read. And remember. For life.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is life.
Like the foreword says, let's not muck around by asking irritating, reductionist questions like "What is the book about?"
I read the book through the night and day of a Saturday evening. For hours after that, I was in Brooklyn, wondering about Francie, Katie and her sisters, and the Nolans as well as dear Neeley. Anything else I say will be prosaic. The book is a masterpiece.
"A profoundly moving novel, and an honest and true one. It cuts right to the heart of life...If you miss A Tree Grows in Brooklyn you will deny yourself a rich experience...It is a poignant and deeply understanding story of childhood and family relationships. The Nolans lived in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn from 1902 until 1919...Their daughter Francie and their son Neely knew more than their fair share of the privations and sufferings that are the lot of a great city's poor. Primarily this is Francie's book. She is a superb feat of characterization, an imaginative, alert, resourceful child. And Francie's growing up and beginnings of wisdom are the substance of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."
--New York Times
"One of the most dearly beloved and one of the finest books of our day."
"One of the books of the century."
--New York Public Library