Today I have to share with you all a guest post from the author of the new book Lies and Other Acts of Love coming out next month! She shares with us about her favorite book which I hate to admit I've never read.
Without further ado
Kristy Woodson Harvey's favorite book
I remember the first time I ever laid eyes on A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I was in the third grade, a voracious reader and one that liked a challenge. A challenge, in my ten-year-old eyes, meant the longest book I could get my hands on. I had parents who understood the power of reading, the transformative properties, the importance of it in education—both the classroom kind and the real-life kind. As a result, new books were treated as a necessity, like a food or clothing, even though they were also always one of my favorite presents.
My parents and I were at Barnes & Noble a few miles away from my grandparent’s beach condo, and, since we were there for a long weekend, I knew I was going to need a long book. I scanned the “literature and fiction” section and, finally, landed on what looked like the thickest book. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith.
I didn’t read the back cover copy, and, even though the front cover had a picture of a little girl on it, I found myself assuming that this book was about a tree. Sounded boring. But it was thick. It would probably hold me for the entire weekend.
I remember sitting in the corner of the balcony, on the ground, overlooking the ocean and the beach as I delved into that novel. You can imagine my surprise, when only a few pages in, Francie Nolan was curled up with her library book, on her Brooklyn balcony, watching the streets below.
I was fascinated by the things she was going through. In my world, we went to the grocery store. Francie stood in line at the bread store for day-old bread and crushed pie, fought with the butcher over the tongue, sold rags and scrap metal to earn pennies to buy candy.
I was a private-school educated, North Carolina raised, only child who had never wanted for anything. Yet, even still, I felt like this poor, barely fed, Brooklyn girl and I were the same. And that was a moment for my little girl self that has transcended time and the pages of a book into the real world. Because it showed me that, no matter what our circumstances, we all feel the same things. We have the same basic desires and many of the same thoughts, insecurities and passions. Through her words and her characters, Betty Smith had taught me that lesson.
You can imagine my thrill the next year, when I had to choose a North Carolina author to write about for my North Carolina project, and I discovered that Betty Smith was, in fact, from North Carolina. I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn again, which was the beginning of a trend.
As a voracious reader, my nightstand is always overflowing with the next titles that I want to get to, and, of course, there’s never enough time. So I rarely re-read books. But, no matter what, I always make sure that I carve out a few days for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
This year was a bit of a shock because I realized that Katie Nolan, the worn-out washwoman who I had pictured as so haggard, was my age now when the book begins. Twenty-nine. And, yet again, I found myself realizing that, though our circumstances were so different, there was so much in Katie that I could relate to, that that inner drive and passion was something that we shared.
And so, again, I walked away looking at the world a little bit differently. Whether I’m ten or thirty or one hundred and ten, that, to me, will always be the mark of a really good book.
Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of Dear Carolina. She blogs at Design Chic about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life and loves connecting with readers at kristywoodonsharvey.com. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's school of journalism and holds a Master's in English from East Carolina University. She is a regular contributor for The Salisbury Post, Domino magazine and Houzz. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and three-year-old son.
I hope you enjoyed getting a chance to discover Kristy's love of A Tree Grows in Brookly as much as I did. I know I'm curious to check it out after such an inspiring story.
Be sure to check out her new book coming out next month!
Lies and Other Acts of Love
by Kristy Woodson Harvey
Expected Publication April 5th 2016
Add to (Goodreads)
Dear Carolina was praised as “Southern fiction at its best.”* Now author Kristy Woodson Harvey presents a new novel about what it really means to tell the truth . . .
After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies.
Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health.
But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves . . .