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Tomorrow Will Be Better

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  607 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
In 1920's Brooklyn, Margie graduates from highschool and is filled with youthful optimism. Determined to rise above the drudgery and poverty of her upbringing, Margie finds a job at a small business nearby and attempts to escape her overbearing mother and her overworked,disillusioned father.

Before long, she meets Frankie Malone, a poor Brooklynite like herself, and the tw
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published 1948 by G. K. Hall & Company
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Dec 07, 2012 Debby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-books
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!
Apr 24, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Marian Paroo
Sep 03, 2014 Marian Paroo rated it it was amazing
This is an incredibly mind-blowing book for its time, or even today in some places. Though, the book has many ideas and themes, Smith's treatment of sexuality is absolutely amazing.

To give details would to be giving spoilers, and I recommend is a novel way ahead of its time.

The first time I read it I was about 14, and hardly understood it. It was only when I thought about it and reread it years later did I understand what was going on.
Jun 05, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2013 Joanne rated it it was amazing
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.)
Mar 21, 2012 Jill rated it liked it
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
Aug 04, 2013 Laura added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 28, 2013 Maggie rated it did not like it
Shelves: very-worst-books
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.
Sep 07, 2007 Lindsay rated it liked it
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.
Jan 08, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was ok
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.
Dec 16, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
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.
May 11, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2010 Maddie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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.
May 18, 2012 Maki rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
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.
Feb 20, 2008 Lucy rated it liked it
Shelves: readawhileago
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!
Jan 10, 2011 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 13, 2013 Mom rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I loved this book. It is every bit as good as "A tree grows in Brooklyn" but doesn't get mentioned as often. It leaves you wanting to know more about the characters, I keep wondering what becomes of them.
Jan 07, 2011 Chloe rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 27, 2014 Hermien rated it really liked it
I loved the setting in Brooklyn and the historical aspect. Margy is very sweet, I just wish she had a bit more backbone like Francie in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
Arlene Allen
Aug 05, 2010 Arlene Allen rated it liked it
This is the most depressing of Smith's books. The guy she gets pregnant by leaves her, the baby dies. I think she loses her job too. One can only hope "tomorrow will be better."
May 17, 2008 Bronwyn rated it liked it
Jeezus, this book was depressing. I wonder if Smith wrote the material for this book after her divorce?
May 31, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
This book was depressing and lacked the charm of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I just didn't love Margy the way I loved Francie.
Chelsea Heath
Jun 14, 2010 Chelsea Heath rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This was another great book from Maggie Smith. I just wish it had been longer and maybe continued Margy's story.
Feb 17, 2012 Cara rated it really liked it
Seemed to have a slow start. turned out to be a very sad story. This reminds me that not all great stories are happy and have a glorious ending.
Mar 30, 2010 Nina rated it really liked it
How strange! left me feeling really bad/happy/sad/i don't know... just strange. you really feel like you know the characters.
Not quite as interesting as her other books, but certainly as sad and depressing as the rest. The story seemed to taper off after a bit, and I wanted mored to have happened before it ended.
Jul 29, 2008 Megan rated it really liked it
Read this on my Betty Smith tear recently- not well received by critics, but following up A Tree Grows In Brooklyn must have been nearly impossible. I enjoyed it.
Talia Adams
May 02, 2012 Talia Adams rated it it was amazing
Never want her books to be over. The only disappointment is when they end.
Wish she had written more than four books.
Feb 15, 2012 Joy rated it it was amazing
ive had this book about 22 years & have to read it again (evan thoe the story is stuck in my head) every few years. old friend.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Betty Smith (AKA Sophina Elisabeth Wehner): Born- December 15, 1896; Died- January 17, 1972

Born in Brooklyn, New York to German immigrants, she grew up poor in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. These experiences served as the framework to her first novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (19
More about Betty Smith...

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“Occasionally there is a moment in a person's life when he takes a great stride forward in wisdom, humility, or disillusionment. For a split second he comes into a kind of cosmic understanding. For a trembling breath of time he knows all there is to know. He is loaned the gift the poet yearned for - seeing himself as others see him.” 5 likes
“Oh well, this is only temporary. Everything will be better someday. I'll make it better. After all, I'm young yet.” 3 likes
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