"Dear God," she prayed, 'let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me hungry...have too much to eat. Let me ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere-be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost'" A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Chapter 48.
I finished this book yesterday and had to let it settle before I wrote about it. I had to think long and hard before summarizing this book because it's not really about anything but at the same time about so much. The quote posted above from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn I felt sums up the entire novel. Francie Nolan, an 11 year old girl at the beginning of the novel, is a child growing up in pre WWI America. Her family is poor and struggle everyday to live. Francie, while she understands here family's poverty, doesn't let her situation hold her back. Her education is important and she learns new things about people and the world everyday. Francie's journey into adulthood is documented throughout Smith's novel.
I can not say enough about this book. I loved it so much and am sad that this is the first time that I have read this book, I know it will be one I will pick up many times in the future. Throughout the novel, I found myself traveling back to my own childhood and comparing it to Francie's. Francie also reminded me how important the written word is and what it is to be a passionate and well balanced person. It is no wonder why many before me have read and loved this book and I recommend it to all who are looking for a new perspective on life. While I have so much to say about this novel, I feel that I don't have the words to express what this book now means to me. All I can say is that everyone should read this book. For those who have, I would love to hear what your thoughts on the novel were.