• Tomorrow Will Be Better

  • By: Betty Smith
  • Narrated by: Nicola Barber
  • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"A rediscovered treasure." — Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post

From Betty Smith, author of the beloved classic A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, comes a poignant story of love, marriage, poverty, and hope set in 1920s Brooklyn.

Tomorrow Will Be Better tells the story of Margy Shannon, a shy but joyfully optimistic young woman just out of school who lives with her parents and witnesses how a lifetime of hard work, poverty, and pain has worn them down. Her mother's resentment toward being a housewife and her father's inability to express his emotions result in a tense home life where Margy has no voice. Unable to speak up against her overbearing mother, Margy takes refuge in her dreams of a better life. 

Her goals are simple—to find a husband, have children, and live in a nice home—one where her children will never know the terror of want or the need to hide from quarreling parents. When she meets Frankie Malone, she thinks her dreams might be fulfilled, but a devastating loss rattles her to her core and challenges her life-long optimism. As she struggles to come to terms with the unexpected path her life has taken, Margy must decide whether to accept things as they are or move firmly in the direction of what she truly wants. 

Rich with the flavor of its Brooklyn background, and filled with the joys and heartbreak of family life, Tomorrow Will Be Better is told with a simplicity, tenderness, and warmhearted humor that only Betty Smith could write. 

©1948 Betty Smith (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Tomorrow Will Be Better

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Brooklyn Revisted

I loved a Tree Grows in Brooklyn and wanted to explore other books by Betty Smith. This book did not disappoint. Set in another era where woman were seen in a different light and mothers had certain expectations of them , this book evokes memories of that time.
The struggles of single women in the 30’s and 40’s
are articulated so well in Betty’s novels.
She doesn’t sugarcoat the real life doubts and yearnings. The ending is realistic and thought provoking. I really enjoyed and sympathized with her journey. Very relatable.

3 people found this helpful

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Gentle and heartfelt

A lovely, heartfelt character study of a sweet young woman finally becoming an adult through some hardships and emotional disappointment. Nicola Barber is one of my favorite narrators, and she enhanced this gentle story.

2 people found this helpful

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A Betty Smith classic and a wonderful audiobook.

I loved listening to this book, which I have loved since childhood. The reader is amazing.

1 person found this helpful

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I couldn’t stop listening to this one

Author has deep insight to human nature and people’s insecurities. This is the second book by this author that I have listened to and I was just as captivated.

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Sweet Story

This is a deceptively simple story of life and love in an Irish/Brooklyn home. Ever the wise observer of human nature, author Betty Smith peels back the tough outer layers of ordinary people to reveal the trauma, the turmoil, and the events that have shaped them.

Narrator Nicola Barber does Brooklynese brilliantly.

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Beautifully crafter characters

My favorite book is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Smith does not disappoint with her development of the characters as she reveals the complex interpersonal struggles and relationships. A peek into history is also revealed in her detailed description of daily life long gone by. Really engaging read and as always with Smith, her characters’ humanity and will to persevere and find meaning in their lives shines through.

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Not a Tree Grows in Brooklyn

I kept waiting for something good to happen and for the story to come alive, for me that never happened. It didn't have the charm and nostalgic aura of A Tree grows in Brooklyn. It started out with the feel of it with the mother Flo and Margie, the little girl. The narrator was really at her best during this part of the story; the authenticity of her Brooklyn accent was excellent and added much to the story. I wanted to love it but didn't. It went down from there.

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Heartfelt and Heart-wrenchingly Real!

I so loved this audiobook… Everything from the narration to the story itself was perfect. It drew me in and just wouldn’t let go. The story addresses love, loss, family dynamics and conflict. I laughed and cried, and learned a lot about growing up in Brooklyn during that era… Coming from Brooklyn and having an Irish Catholic dad whose family interacted quite similarly to those of Margie and Franky, it reminded me how different life is now… Thank goodness, ethnic prejudices and stereotypical male/female roles are far less tolerated in today’s society. Definitely give this book a listen!!!👍🏼👍🏼

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Betty and Brooklyn

Once again, Betty Smith gives us a heart-wrenching tale of the lives of people in Brooklyn. If you liked A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, you will like this book, in my opinion. In this case, the little girl and young woman is Margie. May we all have her goodness.

The narration by Nicola Barber is world-class. Excellent all the way through. Kiddos to the production team for a job well-done.

I highly recommend this book.