Friday, June 14, 2013
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
"From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood."
How could I (like the book's protagonist, a voracious reader since childhood) have waited till I was seventy to read this wonderful coming of age story? Of course, I've heard of it forever -- the book and I are the same age -- but somehow I never read Francie's story till yesterday.
A lovingly detailed evocation of immigrant and first generation American life in the tenements of Brooklyn in the early 1900s, it's also a universal story of family ties, of aspiration, of human nature, good and bad. These characters will stay with me.
Why wasn't this book taught in school when I was growing up? I can only assume its omission in the Fifties (my school years)was due to to its frank approach to sex -- and later on to some non-politically correct language (accurate for the time in which it takes place.)
Now I wonder what other classics I've somehow missed.