- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 14 hours and 55 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperAudio
- Audible.com Release Date: August 12, 2005
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000AWGX7W
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Audiobook – Unabridged
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If you were a kid that "lived in your own head" this book will likely have special meaning.
There's so much of life we don't choose and we do what we can with it - still at least somewhat affected by luck and our own abilities. Something we shouldn't forget as we go through this life accompanied by our fellow humans.
Reading it at this point in my life was so much more meaningful than the first encounter when I was a student. Now I am a mother, a grandmother and a wife of 42 years. The poignancy of the young wife and mother are so much more intense now. I cannot recommend this book any more highly. Read it, whatever your age!
Upon research, I found it is actually an autobiography of the author (which makes it even more moving and unforgettable) who, upon request turned it into a story. I also learned while it became a huge best-seller when originally published in 1942, it was also hugely controversial. People didn't want to see poverty and injustice, reality in their stories. Looking in that mirror could be just too uncomfortable. Honesty is fine - up to a point - but truth is sometimes awfully hard to stomach. Taking from the book:
" Honesty is casting bright light on your own experience; truth is casting it on the experiences of all"
And, that's what Ms. Smith did so well. In her story we see bits of ourselves, for good or bad. We relate to the too-skinny girl who doesn't fit in. We remember the cruel children, the harsh teachers, the humiliating situations that coat the human experience. We also remember the joys that make childhood magical, the dreams that make growing up an adventure, no matter one's social class. Francie's life is filled with life - humanities. It's a story of living among the desperately poor through the eyes of one who knows nothing else. But, lest one think it is depressing and dark, it's also a story of love, of family, of the infallible will to do better in a country where better is always promised but sometimes disappoints. It's innocence shines through even while its hideousness is obvious. It is a quiet, heart-wrenching, soul-felt, yet ultimately hopeful story. It accepts weakness but inspires greatness. It admits ugliness while searching for beauty. It acknowledges great despair while encouraging great hope. All with a clear, simple voice of an 11 year old girl
Most recent customer reviews
The book describes a life long gone but much missed