Study Guide

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Characters

By Betty Smith

Mary Frances Nolan (Francie)

Even though A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is written in the third person, it definitely feels like...

Katie Nolan

What a strong character we have in Katie Nolan. When you think of Katie, words like determined,...

Johnny Nolan

Meet Johnny, but be careful or you just might develop a little crush on him. What’s not to...

Sissy Rommely

Sissy is by far the kindest and most compassionate of all the characters in the novel, and the...

Cornelius (Neeley) Nolan

Neeley is born only one year after Francie, so they go through most of their young lives...

John (Steve)

Sissy’s third husband is really named Steve, but we don’t learn that until very close...

Mary Rommely

Mary Rommely is Katie’s saintly mother, a sweet woman who is deeply religious and deeply...

Thomas Rommely

Thomas Rommely is Mary’s husband and Katie’s father. There's really no nice way of...

Evy (Rommely) Flittman

Evy is the third Rommely daughter. She marries Willy Flittman when she is very young, and...

Willie Flittman

Willie Flittman is married to Evy, and we don’t learn too much about him other than that he...

Sergeant Michael McShane

Francie first meets McShane when she is at the Democratic Party re-election carnival. He notices...

Minor Characters

Dr. Fraber is the dentist who owns the lovely horse, wagon, and stable next door to...