This is a book about resilience. It’s poignant, moving, very sad at times, and (full disclosure) hit me like a sack of bricks. In this book we witness Francie Nolan, a young girl at the turn of the century, who struggles her way through a depressing time in history and does her best to escape the clutches of a complicated childhood. I’m not one for sad stories without a hint of redemption– so if you’re worried this will be nothing but depressing, don’t fear. Though I wouldn’t read it without a box of tissues handy.

From Goodreads: The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience. Check it out on Goodreads!