A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Chapter 8
The Nolan family comes from Ireland. Ruthie Nolan took care of her four sons after her husband died. All of them leave school early to make money; all are handsome and musical; all seem to duck out of marriage; all are singing waiters. The Nolan name is dying out because of the reckless behavior of the men. Everyone leaves Ruthie; her three other sons, Andy, Georgie, and Frankie, die before the age of 35, and Johnny gets married to Katie.
Francie is the product of the two families: Rommely and Nolan. She has the passion and weaknesses of her father's side and the strength and love of life of her mother's side. "She was made up of all of these good and these bad things...She was the books she read in the library...Part of her life was made from the tree growing rankly in the yard. She was the bitter quarrels she had with her brother whom she loved dearly. She was Katie's secret, despairing weeping. She was the shame of her father staggering home drunk...She was all of these things and of something more...It was something that had been born into her and her only" Chapter 8, pg. 71.