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A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

"A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" is told from the point of veiw of a young girl named Francie Nolan. Throughout the book Francie explains in depth the troubles and hardships she goes through growing up in a shabby Brooklyn tenement. Her father Johnny was the person she could always talk to. He was always there for her when she needed him, and always knew how to brighten her day. Francie's mother, Katie, was also a very loving parent. She looked after Francie and helped her with her womanly problems. However, Katie always had a way of looking out for Francie's brother, Cornelious (Neely), first. She always gave him a bit more love. Francie was okay with this though, for she still had Johnny. It seemed that the only bad thing for Johnny was his chronic alcoholism. It would eventually take him slowly away from his family, cause them all extreme poverty, and finally cause him an early death. When Johnny died from pnemonia, the whole family was sent into a period of mourning. Katie had loved Johnny dearly ever since she met him and married him at the age of fifteen. Soon after Johnny died, Francie and Neely were forced to go to work. This dissapointed Francie, because both of the children had just got out of elementary school, and only one would be able to go on to high school. Francie had always been more interested in education than Neely and wanted to further her education. Katie however, chose the boy to go on to highschool because she had dreamed of her son growing up to be a doctor. Therefore, Francie continued to work and provide most of the money the family needed to survive. When summer came around, Francie decided to have a look at the local colleges. She talked this over with Katie, and figured out that the college would accept her. She would only take classes and not elligible for graduation since she did not go to highschool. This suited Francie just fine, all she wanted was education. On Francies first day of school she met a tall and handsome young man named Ben. Ben was studying extra college courses while going to a local highschool as a senior. He had been through much more schooling than Francie, and was able to help her study and pass begining French. While doing all this studdying and hanging out, Francie became very attatched to Ben. When he went away to college at the end of summer, they exchanged adresses and promised to write to eachother if they were in need. So Francie went back to work and waited for the long school year to pass. People always say they will wait for their lover to return, but poor Francie had a tough time doing this. Her friend Anita from work had a boyfriend about to leave to fight the war in the pacific, and he had brought along a friend named Lee. Lee warned Francie that he was engaged, but she couldn't help falling in love with him anyways. He even promised her not to marry his fiance, but when Francie later wrote him a letter, his wife wrote back. Francie resumed with Ben basically where she had left off, and Ben helped her out some more, and actually found an opening at a University for her. With the help of her new step dad Sargent McShane, she was able to pay tuition and go off to college. I thought that this was a great book, it kept me reading and interested all the way through. It really had some interesting point of veiw things about how it's like to live so poor. I think i was able to put myself in Francies shoes because of the great imagery and description used by the author.


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