When I was about ten years old, my mom told me that when she was my age her favorite book was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I never asked what it was about or had any interest in reading it myself, just filing away the information in the back of my mind. I'm now 43. I saw the book (for the first time) in a charity shop about a month ago and wondered what my mom loved about it, so I bought it.
I kind of wish that she had pushed me to read it when I was younger, because it's a fabulous story. I wonder how I would have responded to it as a child. Reading it as an adult, I felt a special, almost maternal bond with the main character, Francie, hoping that the story would end without something bad happening to her.
Besides the story itself, I enjoyed learning about life and childhood during that time period (c.1910-1920)and that part of the United States. It's a part of history that I've never been exposed to before, and found it interesting and a bit foreign.
As some reviewers mention, nothing REALLY happens. There's no climax or great event; it is just the tale of a few years of Francie's life. When I finished the book, I just thought, "that was really nice." No fireworks or tears, I just knew that it meant something. I understood why my mother felt about it the way she did.
I thought about my daughter and whether or not she would enjoy reading it (she is 13). I thought it might be too dated and boring for a teen nowadays- then it hit me- "I wish my mom had pushed me to read it."