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It's hard to believe this book was written over 60 years ago. The subject matter of interpersonal relationships in our lives and everything that can be at work to affect them, for success or failure, is timeless. The setting is Brooklyn in the 1920's, as it was in Betty Smith's highly-acclaimed and well-loved first book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. If you loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, then i think you'd love Tomorrow Will Be Better too!
It's hard to believe this book was written in 1948! I loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Tomorrow Will Be Better was also very good. I will be looking for Betty Smith's other books.
I liked this very much--actually, more than I liked Joy in the Morning. I liked the shifting narrators--it was mostly about Margy, but it was great to be able to see inside everybody's heads, to know WHY Margy's mother was the way she was, to know what Reenie's fiancé Sal was thinking, et cetera. This book was a little franker about sex than Joy in the Morning or even A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and I thought Frankie's character was so fascinating to read. And such a hopeful ending. I hope Margy g...
After rereading this book, I realized that I must have read it multiple times before, and am wondering what drew me to it when I was much younger. One of the reasons I like Smith is that she's not coy about sex, and in this book, her heroine has to come to terms with the fact that the man she marries is not attracted to her--or any woman. As an adult, I find Frankie so sad, and much more sympathetic than I remembered. In fact, I remembered the end as Margy telling him that some men weren't made
a sad, sad book - but still fascinating
I first read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith when I was just a kid but it quickly became one of my favourite books so when I saw Tomorrow Will Be Better by Smith on Edelweiss+, I was thrilled. I will admit I was also worried how I would react - it is often hard, at least for me, to read other books by an author when the only one I have read is as beloved as A Tree. I worried needlessly. Long out of print, Tomorrow Will Be Better is finally being brought back and, like A Tree, it is beaut...
My edition large print, over 400 pp. Line drawing cover, making it look sort of literary. Anyway. I think I should've just reread ATGiB instead (after all, I've only read it once, and that was almost 2 decades ago). Smith certainly does know how to bring her characters alive. Or, half-alive, which is all the luckiest of them ever achieve. An easy, yet also wise read... but not an enjoyable one.
Betty Smith was just a great storyteller. I imagine her to be the Irish version of my grandmother. I still have all my copies of her books from my teenage years because I can never let them go. (Yes, they're chiseled in stone tablets. Whatever.)
I can see why this book is not as popular as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. In the first half my biggest issue was that the author seems to tell you constantly why the characters feel a certain way and how it impacts their actions rather than showing that. The second half it was just kind of bleak, and I left it doubting that tomorrow would in fact be better.Personal Challenge 2020: Read all the Betty Smith Novels. (#2/4)
I thought I reviewed this already.... darn you Goodreads app.This was a book by the same author as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It was about a girl in Brooklyn in the 20s and her sad life. This type of book is right up Betty Smith's lane. She loves to make you feel bad for the main character in a story. Margy grew up in poverty (which seems way worse now that we make more than $12 a week), married into poverty, and basically just lived her sad life where stuff kept going wrong.I really like the way...
The book was an easy read and kept me entertained. My biggest thrill was reading a book not set in the 40s, but written in the 40s. It was an inside look at a fictional story of growing, life, work, love, parenting, and marriage of life set in the 20s. Things the author included back then because it seemed unusual, or could confuse the reader (a mother not nursing) to become the norm today.I felt it lacked on the writing itself. Great detail was put into the small things and so much emphasis lea...
A wonderful novel that is virtually forgotten, Smith's "Tomorrow will be Better" takes us back to the tenements of Brooklyn in the twenties. Smith does little to alleviate the gritty bleakness of growing up in poverty in Williamsburg. Like "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn", Smith touches on taboo subjects like homosexuality. Mother's love is shown through a slap, money is short, marriages filled with hope become dismal ruts, but youth is optimistic and Margy Shannon is no exception. Life beats on her d...
I enjoyed A Tree Grows in Brooklyn so much that I wanted more of Betty Smith. This book was long ago out of print, so I assumed it would be dated. I was wrong. It was, of course, a time piece. I truly understood what 1920’s Brooklyn must have been like. The struggling immigrant issues were no different than what is happening today (without Trump to make things worse) as well as women struggling in a man’s world. I think this book should be put back into print. So many of the chapters are thought...
This book is achingly real. It tells the story of a couple who slowly, painfully, and ordinarily fall out of love. The only problem I had with this book is that it was too convincing, too much like normal life-- except the characters ended up so profoundly unhappy. It took me a few days to recover after reading it. Not exactly the compliment to "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" (Smith's most popular novel), but beautiful in it's own devastating way.
I love Betty Smith. After discovering "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" about 10 years too late I had to get my hands on something, anything else she wrote. "Tomorrow Will Be Better" was a sad and truthful look at the optimistic idealism of young adults looking for a brighter future around the next corner.
Maybe I would have appreciated this had I been older. Read it as a teenager. It was the most difficult of Betty Smith's four books for me to find. I wish it hadn't been the last one I read- it was a disappointment. Very depressing- about three times as depressing as Maggie-Now, which was almost devoid of joy. In my opinion, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is Smith's best, then Maggie-Now, then Joy in the Morning, and then this book.
Betty Smith truly knows how to engage her readers with everyday characters. In some places it can get a bit slow, but I still cheered for Margy through the whole book.As I’ve thought about this book, even after finishing it, I am struck by the title as the key to it. I think even if we are not absolutely sure that tomorrow will be better, we have to live trying our best to believe it in order to live lives of hope.
Totally depressing, I walked around feeling sluggish the entire time I was reading it. Same era as her classic, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, this was probably shocking in it's day, Margy marries a man who's a closet homosexual. In the end she chooses Mr. Prentiss, but I wouldn't be too sure about him either. She could be jumping from the pan into the fire!
How strange! left me feeling really bad/happy/sad/i don't know... just strange. you really feel like you know the characters.
This was another great book from Maggie Smith. I just wish it had been longer and maybe continued Margy's story.
Oof. Right in the feels. While not as sparkling as "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," "Tomorrow" still packs a punch about the grind of generational poverty smashing up against the promise of the American dream.Set in 1920s Brooklyn, Margy grows up in a household strained by finances, with a self-martyring mother who doesn't know how to show love. So of course she escapes at the first opportunity, marrying Frankie, from a similar family. And the cycle continues. Throughout, Margy and others wax about h...
I decided to read Tomorrow will be Better after reading and falling in love with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. don't expect this book to quite live up to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (but then again books can in my opinion) I think the key difference is that while reading A tree grows in Brooklyn I fell in love with almost every character whereas in Tomorrow will Be Better I found myself taking on many of the likes and dislikes of Margy. For instance I had an extreme dislike for every mother in the book...
As much as I ended up loving and knew I would love Tomorrow Will Be Better, I felt like it took a while for a real plot to develop. It was obviously well written and the characters, though sometimes were very flat, were interesting and kept me interested. But in the last 100 pages or so when the plot picked up I was completely in love the story and even found myself crying at the end. It is another wonderfully written piece by Betty Smith.
This book really surprised me. I enjoy Betty Smith's works, but this one was quite different from the others I have read. It was as though Betty Smith has led two different lives. One filled with joy and love and the other mediocre and slightly depressing. I felt this novel was filled with the harshness of reality more than the promise of tomorrow. This is one Betty Smith work I will not be recommending to others.
I'm trying to put my finger on what I loved about this book because in so many ways it is tragic and quite sad. Without really delving into it, I'd probably say it's because Betty Smith gives me a front row seat to the story. She is masterful at painting a picture of each character, of Brooklyn and the vibe and emotions of that combination. She is quite raw in her descriptions and made me feel for each character.
Another melacholy book with another weak man and hoeful young woman...Betty Smith's trademark. This book was mostly memorable for me in that the mother-in-law was even worse than my own ex-mother-in-law!
This is my favorite Betty Smith Novel. This is poignant and moving as told by a young woman who marries the wrong man to escape an unhappy home. She suffers a stillbirth and ends her marriage to eventually find a happiness.
A bit on the depressing side at times, and definitely a crying book, but all in all I really liked this. It was written simply, but honestly, with good characters trying to make their way in the world, wishing and having hope.
I read this as a teenager, then sought out all the rest of Betty Smith's novels - I loved reading about a story of young people making it work during tough times, though its scary. Even though it was published in 1948, the sames themes are true today, I think.
Very enjoyable sequel to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, using different characters but has same characteristics and controlling possessive mothers (multiple). So honestry well written, liked it a lot. I don't know why it's now out-of-print.