While the story may seem familiar, it is the narrative style and the way in which the events are arranged, shuttling between narrators and tenses that is bold, curious and extremely engaging. I loved the heroine, Claudia Hampton - she's selfish, headstrong and smug, yet vulnerable and almost likable.
A Tree grows in Brooklyn
One of my favorite novels, I think it is a book every young girl ought to read. Poignant, poetic and timeless, it is the story of young, tenacious, resourceful Francie Nolan set in Brooklyn at the turn of the century.
I read it first when I believe I was 12, but each time I revisit it, I'm struck by how beautifully each of the characters are written and the little memorable incidents that pepper the novel and each time I feel the sting of the pine needles (from a tree that Francie and Neeley win one Christmas Eve), smell the pungent aroma of coffee and can almost hear the muted sounds of the street below.
Eccentric, powerful and pointed, Catch-22 is about the absurdity of bureaucracy and the insanity of war. Almost a rite of passage it is hilariously funny yet remains one of the most tragic novels I have ever read. It is a rare and genius book.