We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn | [Betty Smith]

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A moving coming-of-age story set in the 1900s, 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.
Regular Price:$26.45
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Why You Should Download This Audiobook: Betty Smith's immensely moving novel is essentially a paean to the human spirit—among most uplifting works we can think of. It's one of those stories you delight in giving to a good friend or family member who might be facing difficulty, certain that it could change the way they perceive life or give them strength to overcome a problem. It's also worth mentioning that this novel is a refreshing, plainspoken American work, a welcome change of pace if you've been lately persuing dense or complex works of literature.

Publisher's Summary

A moving coming-of-age story set in the 1900s, 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 children's 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 off to college, always carrying the beloved Brooklyn of her childhood in her heart.

©1947 Betty Smith; (P)2001 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"There's a reason this tale remains beloved after almost 50 years, and it stands with memoirs like Angela's Ashes for its happy-ending triumph over a bad childhood." (AudioFile)
"A profoundly moving novel, and an honest and a true one. It cuts right to the heart of life." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1150 )
5 star
 (677)
4 star
 (298)
3 star
 (132)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (19)
Overall
4.5 (578 )
5 star
 (368)
4 star
 (150)
3 star
 (44)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (7)
Story
4.4 (576 )
5 star
 (338)
4 star
 (168)
3 star
 (54)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amazon Customer MARIETTA, GA, United States 09-04-11
    Amazon Customer MARIETTA, GA, United States 09-04-11 Member Since 2004

    WildWiseWoman

    HELPFUL VOTES
    218
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    35
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    27
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Book: flawless. SKIP THE RECORDED INTRO!!"

    I won't waste time talking about the worth of this classic story. In my 50+ years on this earth I somehow never read it, dismissing it as "young adult fiction", and I am sorry and shamed now, because it is not that at all. It is one of the finest books I've ever listened to.

    HOWEVER, because it was new to me, I was very sorry to hear the introduction (not skippable, because it is not separated from the first chapter) which GAVE AWAY all the key parts of the story at the end of its schmoozy praise of the novel. Really, really disappointed to have a spoiler like that for such a great book - it should have been featured AFTER the story. The narrator is quite good and I love her way with accents, but she should learn that "suite" is pronounced "sweet" and not "suit". Also disturbing is the weird incidental jazz music, not at all indicative of 1911 when the story begins, which breaks startlingly, alarmingly between chapters. It's out of character for the story and jarring to the ear.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Halethorpe, MD, USA 09-06-05
    Nancy Halethorpe, MD, USA 09-06-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Leaves you wondering what happened next -"

    Many of our own lives can relate with the author as she tells a story of a life so similar to the lives we live in today's world ~ It had romance, excitement, childhood fantasies, family tolerance, sibling protection and teasing, fears of change, tears of joy and sadness. I wish it never ended.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. McCarley California 02-01-07
    C. McCarley California 02-01-07 Listener Since 2002

    Cammer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great Listen"

    This was one of my favorite books I've ever purchased from Audible. The narration doesn't get better than this in audiobooks, and the story is nothing short of classic and a truly wonderful coming of age story. Excellent book I highly recommend it for anyone at any age.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ella toronto,, Ontario, Canada 10-09-10
    Ella toronto,, Ontario, Canada 10-09-10 Member Since 2005

    Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1050
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    335
    102
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    143
    5
    Overall
    "A True Classic"

    Centered around the protagonist Mary Frances Nolan who is 11 years old at the onset of the novel, ATGIB tell the story of a poor family, struggling in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. Mother Katie is a proud, hard-working, practical, woman who tries to make ends meet by working as a cleaning woman, while her husband Johnny escapes reality through alcohol. It depicts the hard road traveled by their two children Francie and Neeley, her younger brother, as they go to school and work while learning about life and how to survive its cruelty. It also depicts the strong love of family. How in difficult circumstances they stick together and even though their situation whittles away at their endurance, they still manage to stick together as their love, devotion and loyalty to one another triumph. Katie’s sisters Evy and Sissy are strong women who also struggle through life’s challenges, but never back away as they persevere and face adversity head on. ATGIB is story telling on a whole new level. Moving and inspirational, it reaches in to your heart and pulls you into its time, place and circumstance. A true classic.
    Kate Burton did a fine job with the narration.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette Oakland, CA, USA 01-10-09
    Annette Oakland, CA, USA 01-10-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent Book, Excellent Read"

    This book is a wonderful classic about life in New York in the early 20th century. The reader's accents were perfect. Her rendition of the book is superb.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Lakeside, MT, USA 06-20-09
    Mary Lakeside, MT, USA 06-20-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Always a favorite"

    I have loved this book from the time I was 13, which is a 47 years ago. I have read it several times and loved the audio version just as much. What a classic.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Audrey Marlton, NJ, USA 06-09-09
    Audrey Marlton, NJ, USA 06-09-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Trees like this one need planting everywhere"

    What a classic, that does not feel a bit old! This is an annual listen for me. Francie is timeless as is the story of all our lives. Excellent narration

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah North Las Vegas, NV, USA 05-20-09
    Deborah North Las Vegas, NV, USA 05-20-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    164
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Endearing"

    As fresh today as when it was written. Not a plot-driven story, but a rich, rewarding listen about life in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn, as well as a warm and endearing coming-of-age story of young Francie. Could not be more delightful. Couldn't stop listening! Try it, you'll like it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pterion 03-27-08
    pterion 03-27-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    76
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A classic, plain and simple"

    I don't have words enough to praise this gem of a novel by Betty Smith. The coming-of-age story of the protagonist, Francie Nolan, has been beloved for decades and deservedly so. The author paints a wonderfully vivid picture of the colorful Nolan family and their story of struggles and simple joys.
    I felt sad when this book ended!
    This audiobook is expertly read by the actress Kate Burton (her accent is perfect, and I say that as a Brooklynite)!
    Download this one - you won't be disappointed!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FanB14 07-26-13
    FanB14 07-26-13

    Short, Simple, No Spoilers

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4294
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    134
    124
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    286
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Required Reading"

    Francie Nolan is coming of age at the turn of the century in the slums of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. It's a story of perseverance, heartbreak, cruelty, and optimism. Am just reading this as an adult and can't believe it wasn't required in my high school. Fantastically written account of a family struggling to beat the odds for a better life. If you've ever read, "Angela's Ashes" then this is a tamer U.S. version beautifully capturing the struggle for the American dream.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 88 results PREVIOUS129NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.