newwavepolly

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty  Smith, Anna Quindlen I was really disappointed in this book. I excepted it to be great but it was really kind of a nightmare to read. Despite the credit it gets for being a really well written, classic novel, I thought it wasn't too well written, with repetitive, almost perfunctory sentence structure and besides a few articulate, insightful passages the writing was overall juvenile.
It was incredibly long-winded, with pages dedicated to describing the most mundane details and interactions that were completely insignificant to the plot or characters.
This complaint falls more under personal preference I guess, I'm really not a fan of the method of characterization used. Instead of developing characters through their actions, thoughts and interactions with other characters, the characters personalities/motivations/complexities are explained in detail within the narrative. The characters thought processes at various times in the novel (and these processes appear for most characters despite it being centred primarily around Francie) are also explicit explanations of their attempted characterizations. All this is presented to the reader as fact, rather than letting the reader infer the characters personalities and motivations organically for themselves. It felt like a third-party analytical essay on the characters embedded into the story.

I know this book is pretty beloved and maybe there's something about it I'm missing or not getting, but I was underwhelmed and thought it was ok at best.

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