A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Chapters 49 - 51
Francie adores college and falls in love with Ben Blake, a good-looking, intelligent, nineteen-year-old boy (also a writer and an athlete) who works in a law firm. He is prepping for his future as a lawyer and politician, although his heart lies with the stage. The two study together and become great friends. He leaves when school is over and tells her that he will be there for her if she ever needs him. She wants to enroll immediately in college, but doesn't have the money and doesn't have the high school diploma to enroll for free. She is put on the day shift as an operator and plans to study hard to pass the entrance examinations for the following year. She is very lonely and misses Ben.
Sissy gives birth to her eleventh baby. This time, Steve insists on going to a hospital and using a Jewish doctor. He believes they are kinder and smarter. The baby is born blue and still, but Dr. Aaronstein revives it and it lives. Its name is Steven Aaron and has a big sister Sarah (Sissy) to have as companionship, just like Neeley and Francie. Willie Flittman, Evy's husband, tries to enroll in the army, but is rejected. He believes himself a failure and tries to become a one-man band. Steve gets him a job at his munitions factory. The family has enough money to celebrate Christmas in style and still give some money to the Tynmore girls for helping them with music all these years. Francie wants to send Ben a Christmas card and Katie tells her to do so.