Our LWD Book Club selection for February is by the author of one of my all-time favorite books, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”. It can be risky to read a lesser-known work by a favorite author – too often it leads to disappointment. But “Tomorrow Will Be Better” is being called a “rediscovered classic” so I’m willing to give it a go.
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Tomorrow Will Be Better
I can’t recall exactly when or where I discovered the book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but it’s one of a very small handful of books I have read multiple times. I also have enjoyed another Betty Smith novel – Joy Comes in the Morning – several times. The only other Smith novel I was aware of was Maggie-Now, which I read once but it didn’t make the same impression on me as the other two.
Not long ago I ran across this month’s selection, Tomorrow Will Be Better. I think I had heard of it many years ago but it was long out of print and hard to find. It has apparently experienced a bit of renewed interest and is back in print.
Tomorrow Will Be Better by Betty Smith
From Betty Smith, author of the beloved classic A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, comes a poignant story of love, marriage, poverty, and hope set in 1920s Brooklyn.
Tomorrow Will Be Better tells the story of Margy Shannon, a shy but joyfully optimistic young woman just out of school who lives with her parents and witnesses how a lifetime of hard work, poverty, and pain has worn them down. Her mother’s resentment toward being a housewife and her father’s inability to express his emotions result in a tense home life where Margy has no voice. Unable to speak up against her overbearing mother, Margy takes refuge in her dreams of a better life.
Her goals are simple—to find a husband, have children, and live in a nice home—one where her children will never know the terror of want or the need to hide from quarreling parents. When she meets Frankie Malone, she thinks her dreams might be fulfilled, but a devastating loss rattles her to her core and challenges her life-long optimism. As she struggles to come to terms with the unexpected path her life has taken, Margy must decide whether to accept things as they are or move firmly in the direction of what she truly wants.
Rich with the flavor of its Brooklyn background, and filled with the joys and heartbreak of family life, Tomorrow Will Be Better is told with a simplicity, tenderness, and warmhearted humor that only Betty Smith could write.
Link to all LWD Book Club selections:
What’s better than curling up with a good book and a delicious cup of tea? And when the tea is named
Reading Nook“? Perfection.