This book was g double 0 d good. Although it did feel a little bit Angela's Ashes in NYC to me. Although it's definitely not as tragic as Angela's Ashes. Not by a long shot.
The book is set in Brooklyn and I soon realized that in my mind I thought Brooklyn was the Bronx...and apparently it's not. So....that was embarrassing. And humbling. I clearly don't know my New York boroughs. So, here we are in Brooklyn, which is still not the Bronx, and it's the early 1900's and there is a poor Irish family struggling to get by. Guess why? Daddy's a drunk. Those damn Irish!
So, Johnny is the dad and he's hopeless except you can't help but to love him. His daughter, the story's heroine, can't see past her dad's charisma despite her unique intelligence. So, she instead loses herself in reading and school and her random after school jobs of looking for scrap metal and junk with her brother. They trade the junk in for pennies and candy.
The mom, Katie, is such a sad sack. She keeps trying to save money, but that drunk husband of hers always finds it and then spends it on moonshine. What an asshole. There's a really sad scene where Katie is super pregnant and scrubbing other people's floors for money. I can tell you that when I am pregnant, I won't be scrubbing my own floors at 1 month along let alone 9 months. Poor lady.
Don't fear peeps. The author gave these characters boot straps and you can bet your bottom dollar that they will pull themselves up. Not until something tragic happens, though. Sadness occurs and then some more. Our heroine is continuously knocked down, but she keeps on learning. Education is freedom kids. Stay in school.
This book is like hot chocolate with snowflake marshmallows and a little bit of vodka mixed in. 4 out of 5 stars or 8 out of 10.