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4.25.2016

Book Report - Little Women and A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

Time to talk about a few more books I read as part of the Pop Sugar 2015 Reading Challenge. Louisa May Alcott's, Little Women, crossed off "A book from your childhood" and Betty Smith's, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, crossed off "A book your mom loves".

First off, Little Women.
Little Women tells the story of the March family, specifically four sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. Their father is away serving as a chaplain in the Civil War, but under the guidance of their wise and loving mother, Marmee, the girls learn and grow from children into young women; experiencing life and all it has to offer along the way.

Perfection.

I'd love to leave it at that, but when you love a novel as much as I love Little Women, you have to gush.

I don't remember the first time I read Little Women, but each read since then has been just as enjoyable as the first. As I child, I identified with it so much. I am one of four sisters, and I related to the March girls a lot. It didn't matter what point I was at in my journey from girl to woman; there was always a lesson to be had at the hands of one of the March sisters most likely going through the same thing (or the 19th century version of it). However, this is the first time I have read the book since becoming a mother, and all of a sudden I'm identifying with Marmee! I couldn't have been more delighted. There are few books I hold as dear as Little Women, and I look forward to the day I introduce it to my own children.

Next, let's take a look at A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.
Francie Nolan is navigating childhood in Brooklyn at the turn-of-the-century. Her family is poor, but she's a dreamer like her father and hard-working and practical like her mother. It's a combination that just might allow her to escape the hard and sometimes cruel life of the deeply impoverished.

When I asked my mom to recommend a book she loved for me, I was honestly surprised when she told me to read A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. I had never heard her mention this book before that I could remember. I had heard of the book, but didn't even know what it was about. So, I basically went in blind.

OMG, this book is amazing! It's definitely another "how did I go my entire life without reading this" kind of book.

Francie Nolan is an amazing heroine right up there with Elizabeth Bennett, Anne Shirley, and well...Jo March!

Her story is tragic and real; yet full of hope and promise as well. The cast of characters that surround her are flawed; yes, but each have something good to offer Francie as well. She's a product of her environment, but she doesn't let that define or encapsulate her. There's an authenticity to this novel that will really resonate with the reader.

So, there you have it, two great classics! On the off chance you have not read either of these, do so now! If you've already read them, now's the time to read them again. Either way, you won't be disappointed.

And how very apropos that I would get to reviewing a book my mom loves right before Mother's Day. Thanks Mom, for introducing me to such a wonderful book.

Do you know your parents' favorite book? My Dad introduced me to The Jungle by Upton Sinclair years ago, and it's become one of my favorite books since then. Ask them, and see what they say. Books are such a great way to bring people closer together.    

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