Many of the reviews on this page are for the novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. This book is actually the biography of the author, Betty Smith. This is a dense, well-researched biography; now I really want to go the University of North Carolina and dig around in the Betty Smith collection at the archives. I do wish the biographer wasn't so present in this book - I could have done without a lot of the speculation, which really didn't seem necessary given the amount of personal letters and writings Smith left behind. But it's still an enjoyable read for anyone who grew up with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Joy in the Morning.