Betty Smith

in Brooklyn, NY, The United States
December 15, 1896

January 17, 1972


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 (1943).

After marrying George H. E. Smith, a fellow Brooklynite, she moved with him to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he pursued a law degree at the University of Michigan. At this time, she gave birth to two girls and waited until they were in school so she could complete her higher education. Although Smith had not finished high school, the university al

Average rating: 4.26 · 416,108 ratings · 23,171 reviews · 14 distinct worksSimilar authors
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

4.27 avg rating — 404,239 ratings — published 1943 — 188 editions
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Joy in the Morning

3.91 avg rating — 6,794 ratings — published 1963 — 31 editions
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3.89 avg rating — 1,855 ratings — published 1950 — 15 editions
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn & ...

4.40 avg rating — 1,017 ratings2 editions
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Tomorrow Will Be Better

3.88 avg rating — 1,893 ratings — published 1948
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Det växte ett träd i Brookl...

3.69 avg rating — 139 ratings — published 1943 — 3 editions
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Det växte ett träd i Brookl...

4.10 avg rating — 82 ratings3 editions
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A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

4.12 avg rating — 25 ratings
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: A...

4.15 avg rating — 13 ratings — published 1951
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (S...

3.71 avg rating — 31 ratings3 editions
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More books by Betty Smith…

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“The world was hers for the reading.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

“I know that's what people say-- you'll get over it. I'd say it, too. But I know it's not true. Oh, youll be happy again, never fear. But you won't forget. Every time you fall in love it will be because something in the man reminds you of him.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

“Dear God," she prayed, "let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry...have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere - be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.”
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


February 2018 Revisit Poll

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, 1961, 277 pages, Last Read November 2010
  53 votes, 13.6%

Persuasion by Jane Austen, 1817, 249 pages, Last Read August 2015
  47 votes, 12.1%

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë, 1848, 542 pages, Last Read April 2015
  36 votes, 9.2%

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, 1726, 306 pages, Last Read September 2013
  34 votes, 8.7%

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf 1923, 194 pages, Last Read March 2015
  34 votes, 8.7%

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1922, 422 pages, Last Read January 2014
  33 votes, 8.5%

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, 1989, 258 pages, Last Read January 2017
  31 votes, 7.9%

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, 1943, 496 pages, Last Read May 2013
  26 votes, 6.7%

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 1818, 273 pages, Last Read October 2016
  24 votes, 6.2%

Paradise Lost by John Milton, 1667, 453 pages, Last Read December 2012
  22 votes, 5.6%

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, 1930, 213 pages, Last Read March 2012
  18 votes, 4.6%

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, 1847, 867 pages, Last Read October 2011
  17 votes, 4.4%

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, 1596, 237 pages, Last Read September 2016
  15 votes, 3.8%


Topics Mentioning This Author

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