A Tree Grows in Brooklyn | Book Review 2

Lately  I had been dying for a good read, something to grab me, and pull me in. I needed a book that I missed when we were apart and couldn’t bear to put down for too long. Something that I could dive into and escape with. I wanted to remember my great love for reading and experience it again. Fate would have it that the book that would reignite my passion for reading would be none other than A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I feel that I had a stoke of luck in meeting this book,  I heard of it in a passing conversation and was intrigued, but it wasn’t until I saw it sitting on my great grandmothers bookshelf that I decided I really wanted to read it. I saw it there, a beautiful old copy, red, or maybe green with pretty swirling letters, worn and well loved like most old books are and it had an effect on me, I felt  strange pull towards it and  decided that I wanted to get a my own copy. I purchased it off of Barnes and Noble, which is rare for me because all of my books are thrifted or hand me downs, but I just couldn’t wait for this one.  It came in as a beautiful blue book that fit in my hands perfectly, with an untouched pristine look it was all mine. I am now  so happy with my decision to purchase this because with my own copy I can share this book with sisters and friends as I feel it is a book most woman can connect with and understand.

A Tree Grow in Brooklyn is an emotional chronicle of girlhood that reminds one of the beautiful and honest way a child views the world. The novel follows the Nolan family and their lives in early 1900s Brooklyn New York. Francie is the eldest Nolan child and the central character of this novel. The family is led by the hardworking and sacrificial Katie Nolan, whose perseverance is an unwavering constant display throughout the novel. Katie’s husband is Johnny Nolan, one of those unfortunate souls who is born with an horrid imbalance of romanticism and common sense, despite his short comings the lessons that Francie learn from him become invaluable to her in life. Cornelius, Neely, is the brazen younger brother who embarks on many adventures with Francie. Through the lives of the Nolan’s Betty Smiths delves into subject matter such as, poverty, alcoholism and literacy vs. illiteracy. We see the whole family crave an escape from their life of poverty and the social class they see themselves in. One by one we see each member find and follow the path that brings them each their freedom but all by different means.

One of the reasons I identified so strongly with Francie, and I think many others feel this way as well, is her great love for learning. A strong pull in Francie’s life is education, she craves learning, reading and discovery especially through books. Francie’s attitude towards knowledge is really what connected me so deeply to this book, she not only wants to know but understand and experience life around her. These attributes make her a vivid and well loved character who I have added to my list of literary best friends.

I would like to leave you with one of my favorite moments in this book. I think this quote really exemplifies Francie’s character and what her goals and desires in life are.

““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 be hungry…have too much to eat. Let me be 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.”

Pumpkin Patch Journal Entry No. 3

Fall sweetness on this Saturday that included cheering on my sisters at their soccer games, picking out pumpkins and eating pizza. We started off the morning by packing a picnic lunch, bundling up and grabbing blankets and chairs for the soccer game. Then we ran out the door, late, which is typical for us, into the cold October morning.

We had a crazy morning driving from game to game, Sammie lost and Ella won. After that we headed to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins and grab some fresh squash. Sammie spent the most time looking for the biggest pumpkin she could find. Eventually she decided on one that was the farthest from our wagon and because she couldn’t lift it she rolled it across the entire patch and dropped it in the wagon. Once everyone found their pumpkins we loaded them into the car and headed home.

It was a beautiful autumn day and it was spent in some of my favorite ways.

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Inspiration From The Ocean | Journal Entry No. 2

I am always inspired by the ocean. In every season the ocean is always fierce. During the winter it is loudly physically and visibly fierce. You watch it threaten and rear its beautiful white foaming head and crash upon the sand. It loudly proclaims I am a force. I am here and everywhere. It boasts of its beauty, scary terrifying beauty. In the cold stormy months you steer clear of the ocean because you know the powerful waters will take live and not think twice about it. But the warmer easier months are much much quieter. This is when the ocean really shows her finesse. You can lounge warm on the sand and watch the ocean up close gently lapping on the sand. You are entranced it is so big so blue and so very very welcoming. There is no hostility in the cool breeze that floats off the water and everyone seems to dance by the shore getting close but never to close. But what we all know in the back of our minds is that the ocean is silently fierce. It obtains the same force and terrifying beauty as before but know it is hidden behind the glare of the sun. The ocean she becomes this quietly strong seductress that we know only to avoid her based on our observations in the cold months when we she is showing all her cards. Yes I love the ocean, I love her when she is thrashing and spitting and being marvelous and disastrous, And I love her when she is understated and flat, playing as if she didn’t know her own power.