For some reason I’d always wanted to read this book, and I’m glad I finally did. The writing style is a bit pedestrian and the plot is episodic. Each chapter provides a little vignette of life in the Williamstown section of Brooklyn in the early twentieth century. Nevertheless, the story of Francie Nolan and her family is compelling and moving. Everyone took the hardships and poverty for granted—sharing the toilet down the hall, pretending to be at the North Pole when there was no heat, leaving school after eigthth grade to work. What a different world it was back then!