Fayette book discussion 5.7

Written by David Green.

Fayette’s Thursday@ 7:00 Book Club readers will learn about Brooklyn, N.Y., a hundred years ago through the story of Francie Nolan in Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.”

When the book was first published more than 50 years ago, Smith’s frank writing about the squalor of slum life created a stir among many readers. Since then, the book has earned the status as a classic of American literature.

The Nolan family lived in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn from 1902 to 1919. Francie, the daughter and main character of the story, is described as “an avid reader, penny-candy connoisseur, and adroit observer of human nature.”

She’s less favored than her brother, forced to leave school early, treated poorly by people and by fate, yet she trudges forward in a courageous manner to exist in the hardships among New York City’s poor.

Like the tree of heaven that flourishes in the city—taking root in the cracks of  concrete or emerging from cellar gratings—Francie struggles against the odds to survive.

The book will be discussed at 7 p.m. May 22 at the library. Extra copies are available at the circulation desk.

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