A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN by Betty Smith
Kirkus Star

A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a repeat for a novel we reported last March (see P. 125). We liked it then; we like it still. Literary Guild choice for September, it should go farther than the usual first novel. "A first novel of unusual quality and understanding, written with strong realism and compassion, sometimes bald, always human, this rightfully ranks with the Farrell genre, though, to my thinking, there is better balance and more sympathy. The slums of Brooklyn, and the Irish Catholics, form the setting for the story of Francie Nolan and her family:- Johnny, her father, handsome and shiftless; Katie, her mother, hardening under years of poverty and improvidence; Neeley, Katie's favorite child; Aunt Sissy, a good 'bad woman,' and chiefly Francie herself, gentle, shy, imaginative. The reader shares her humiliations at school, loss of face and pride her real sorrow when her father drinks himself to death; her ambition for a college education, thwarted when she must go to work at 14; her first love affair and disillusionment. Lusty -- sometimes funny -- consistently moving, this is a book for a discriminating public, not too tender skinned. But not for some Public Library open shelves" (though some of the crudities of the original script have been ironed out). Betty Smith is more than a "promising young author." A Harper "Find."

ISBN: 0060001941
Publisher: Harper