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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Maggie - Now
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Maggie - Now Author:Betty Smith A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is the ever-popular best-seller that put Betty Smith in the forefront of modern novelists. It is the story of Francie Nolan and the world of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that made her. A story of tears and laughter, cruelty and compassion, so crowded with life and people that no description can begin to convey its spell. — F... more »rom the moment she entered the world Francie needed to know toughness, for life in Williamburg was lived without kid gloves. You faced up to it or you went down - and Kattie Nolan's children were not the kind to go down. It was no matter if the neighbors scorned the Nolans because of Johnny's liking for the bottle, and because Aunt Sissy had a habit of marrying many times without the formaility of divorce. Aunt Sissy was bad, but she was good too. She was good because wherever she was there was life; fine, tender, overwhelming, fun-loving and strong-scented life. And in a different way Johnny had something of the same quality.
Betty Smith has caught this sense of life in a novel rich in the elements of universal experience. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn has remained an all-time best-seller because within the compass of its characters is all of humanity; the good, the bad, the pitiful and the ridiculous and those with stardust in their eyes.
Maggie-Now is a Betty Smith heroine in the tradition of Francie Nolan. A Catholic girl of Irish parentage, Maggie-Now grew up in Brooklyn at the turn of the century - a time when the old-fashioned virtues were still in vogue. That is why her family and close friends were so shocked when, at the age of twenty-three this practica-minded girl upped and mrried the handsome charming ne'er-do-well Claude Bassett.
Every spring Claude would leave her when a chinook wind blew up from the west. And every fall he would return to his Maggie-Now to fill her life with love, wonder and splendor beyond belief.
Betty Smith paints a warm and compelling portrait of this lovely, often naive Irish girl who, in spite of her moments of disappointment and pain, was able to live a life of exuberance and happiness. Togeth with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Maggie-Now completes the colorful picture of old-time Brooklyn as only a writer with Betty Smith's talent could portray it.« less