Named one of the books of the century by the New York Public Library, this is the profoundly moving classic about a young girl coming of age at the turn of the century.
Born in 1901 in the slums of Brooklyn, Francie Nolan has grown up under the burden of suffering that is the lot of the great city’s poor. Romantic like her father, an Irish singing waiter, yet pragmatic like her mother, a housecleaner and fierce survivor, Francie uses her imagination and tenacity to thrive in the world in spite of these harsh conditions.
First published in 1943, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn created a stir in genteel society with its frank descriptions of poverty’s squalor. But the book’s rich humor and pathos and its wealth of unforgettable characters have ensured its place in American literature.
©1943 Betty Smith (P)2007 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“If you miss A Tree Grows in Brooklyn you will deny yourself a rich experience.... [I]t is a poignant and deeply understanding story of childhood and family relationships. A profoundly moving novel, and an honest and true one. It cuts right to the heart of life.” (The New York Times)
Worth Your Time
I liked how Betty Smith's characters (except, perhaps, one or two) could have so many hardships and yet, somehow, never give up.
Carrington MacDuffie's performance was excellent. Her voice range is such that her portrayal of the male characters is as convincing as the women characters.
Yes, I could have listened to this book in one sitting, except for the length of it. However, I did listen to the last four hours in one sitting.
Our Book Club had this as our February 2013 book to read. One of the things mentioned in our discussion was that what you felt about the book might depend a great deal upon the age at which you read/listened to it. Several of our members read the book in school. Now as older adults, with life experiences and having children of their own, the book meant more to them. I am so very pleased that I had the opportunity to listen to this book. There is a reason that it was named one of the books of the century by the New York Public Library. Carrington MacDuffie's reading of it, brought it to life for me. If you have never read it before, or even if you have, I believe this audio version is one which you will appreciate very much.
A lovely book. Really, it's remarkable that so little of substance has changed since this book came out. The narrator is terrific. The story is affecting and, I'm guessing, will still be relevant in yet another hundred years.
I really liked seeing all the growth in Francy. It was nice to see all the different dimensions of how she thought and processed everything about her family. It was also wonderful to hear the time and place so romanticized. I have no least favorite.
The most memorable for me is the death of Johnny.
No, it was finished well.
The reader has many different voices and accents to add to the interest of the story.
What I liked was how realistic and non-fantastical a portrait of a family it was.
I have never heard any other preformances by Mac Duffie, but I would consider her again for the future.
Portrait of a struggling family with never-ending optimism.
It was nice to get what you need out of the book without having a forced message overlying it all. It was more of a "put yourself in someone else's shoes" type of story. It gives you a full picture of a girl and how she lived and what came to form her in that way. Interesting and honest.
I was expecting a tamer, g-rated story, but was pleasantly surprised by the realism in this story of the early 20th century in Brooklyn, New York. Although a grim portrait of poverty, the story is uplifitng in the fondness of the narrator for her childhood. Carrington MacDuffie narrates the story superbly, easily transitioning among different accents and even singing songs of the time; an aspect one would miss out on reading the book in print.
This is a classic book with a compelling story. The reading performance showcases the story without overdramatizing. I highly recommend this audio book.
I was a bit hesitant about listening to a story through the eyes of a young girl, but soon got over that - I loved the story of this girl's life and it even grabbed my 12 year old son's attention when he overheard the story being read aloud.
Humanitarian Aid Worker living in Central Asia.
This is one of those books I always heard about but never got around to reading. For some reason, I thought it was young adult fiction, but it is actually a novel written for an adult audience (though suitable for young adults too). It captures a time in American History so very well and I enjoyed all the details and the unflinching recording of first, second and third generation immigrants struggling to realize the American Dream. Definitely a great family listen that will open up conversation amongst all ages.
Quote from the book:
"Some people called it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed fell, it made a tree which struggled to reach the sky. It grew in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps and it was the only tree that grew out of cement".
I have loved this book for years. I love the themes, the similes and symbolism used in the book and I have read it many times.
For some reason this narrator just did not impress me. She did a good job but maybe this is one book that I just prefer reading instead of listening. I will probably listen to this again in the future to see if I still feel the same. That being said, I still recommend this excellently written book.
I loved this book! The narrator was a great pick for this wonderful story. Overall, just a wonderful read and a nice ending.
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