I have a soft spot for Brooklyn, a place that I have never been. I love it for the mere fact that my father was born there...though he only spent his infancy there. Mostly though, I love it as it lends the setting to my favorite book of all time...A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
A century has passed since A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, so this is a very different Williamsburg neighborhood. And yet, not much has changed. The two stories are stories about survival...both of the very basic and of the creative.
Of course this is the end of the similarities.
Still, much like Francie's story in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I found myself drawn into Alex's story in To Be Heard. While it was a much shorter, and much less involved read it was easy to imagine Alex's version of Brooklyn.
My favorite aspect of this novel was the narration. After reading so many mass marketed books, it was refreshing to delve into such a lyrical narration.
The characters came in a very close second. I do wish that there was more written about Foxcroft, who unfortunately was killed at the beginning of the book. He seemed to be one of those characters that would stick with a person for years after reading about him. Even only meeting him briefly in this novel he's going to stick with me.
The only downside of this novel was the plot. It was a little too rambling for my taste. Which, fit in with the bohemian/hipster tone of the book but sometimes it's hard to read a book who's plot is so...random. It works for this book, but it does give this book a bit of a challenge.