This book is depressing. Very depressing. The very little, and rushed, amount of Happily Ever After did nothing to lessen the feeling of hopelessness that overtook me after the first 10 pages. This book is roughly 90% sadness, 5% deaths, 3% okay and 2% good.
That being made clear, it wasn't the kind of sadness that would make me give it a bad rating. I wouldn't say I enjoyed this book but I'm glad I read it. It was quick to get through, the only labor I found in the reading was emotional, and seemed incredibly real. I've never spent any time in Brooklyn or the early 1900's and have no real knowledge of history of the two combined so don't trust me but Betty Smith lived it and I have faith in her ability to tell her own life experiences.
I'd really give this a 3 1/2 but I'm rounding up to 4 because when I'm sad I'm generous with ratings and did I mention how sad this book is?