It’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to get to this feature! I’m so glad to get the chance to do it again and include two books that impacted me so emotionally. One of them could actually be considered a classic, while the other is more recent, but both include a story of family, struggles, and perseverance.
First we have the more recently published, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. The author actually mentions A Tree Grows in Brooklyn throughout the book and I thought it couldn’t be more perfect. This book follows a family of 4 and their eccentric parents. They didn’t have much and moved around a lot. Their housing choices were usually strange and different in some way. They lived in strange houses in strange towns, camped and more. Their parents were energetic and taught them about the world and how to live life to the fullest. But when the money ran out their father fell into drinking to escape, using the money they needed to eat to go off on a bender, disappearing for days on end. Because of their parents, the 4 kids were left to fend for themselves. Even though everything though, they found a way to love their parents deeply. Even though they needed to escape and be away from their parents toxic behaviour, they still found the good and positive aspects. There was so much love, understanding, heartbreak, perseverance and more. This book will hit some real emotional strings.
Next we have A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. Originally published in the 1940’s this one can be considered a classic. I read it maybe 10 years ago when I had the flu. It was a bright and sunny day so I spent the whole day reading it from start to finish. When I read the end I had went out to sit on the porch in the sun hoping that it would make me feel better and I ended up sobbing on the porch all alone. Here we have a family of two children living with their parents in Brooklyn. They’re poor and the father is an alcoholic. The kids struggle at school because they don’t have any money and are bullied on a daily basis. The father can’t hold a proper job because of the alcohol and the mother works her hardest to support them all. Seeing this situation from the eldest daughters eyes was so emotional. She’s innocent, and no matter what her parents choices are she places them on a pedestal because they’re her parents and they are everything. She finds a way to look on the bright side of everything even when we as the reader are crying for them. We see this family through quite a few years of their lives and it was so beautiful. The ending of this book brought me down – hard! I really loved this book!!
HERE’S WHAT THE TWO BOOKS HAVE IN COMMON:
- Family life and struggles through a lack of money and living in a poor neighbourhood
- Parents who don’t always make the best of choices, but are still full of love
- Unconditional child/parental love
- Fathers with addictions
- Perspectives of innocent children
- Following the transition of innocence to coming into their own and making their own decisions and conclusions
- Character driven and packed full of emotion
These two were both so very similar in their subject matter, character types and emotional impacts. I honestly expected to hate A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and be bored to tears. But my mother in law insisted I read it and I’m so glad I listened. I loved it so much I started looking for something else like it but never could. That is until I found The Glass Castle. I highly recommend both of these!
Until next time, happy reading!