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Beautiful,
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11 reviews

Brooklyn: A Novel
by Colm Toibin

Published: 2009-04-17
Kindle Edition : 0 pages
12 members reading this now
31 clubs reading this now
18 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 8 of 11 members
Hauntingly beautiful and heartbreaking, Colm Tóibín's sixth novel, Brooklyn, is set in Brooklyn and Ireland in the early 1950s, when one young woman crosses the ocean to make a new life for herself.

Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the years following World War ...
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Introduction

Hauntingly beautiful and heartbreaking, Colm Tóibín's sixth novel, Brooklyn, is set in Brooklyn and Ireland in the early 1950s, when one young woman crosses the ocean to make a new life for herself.

Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the years following World War Two. Though skilled at bookkeeping, she cannot find a job in the miserable Irish economy. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn to sponsor Eilis in America -- to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood "just like Ireland" -- she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, a blond Italian from a big family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. He takes Eilis to Coney Island and Ebbets Field, and home to dinner in the two-room apartment he shares with his brothers and parents. He talks of having children who are Dodgers fans. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.

By far Tóibín's most instantly engaging and emotionally resonant novel, Brooklyn will make readers fall in love with his gorgeous writing and spellbinding characters.

Editorial Review

Amazon Best of the Month, May 2009: Committed to a quiet life in little Enniscorthy, Ireland, the industrious young Eilis Lacey reluctantly finds herself swept up in an unplanned adventure to America, engineered by the family priest and her glamorous, "ready for life" sister, Rose. Eilis's determination to embrace the spirit of the journey despite her trepidation--especially on behalf of Rose, who has sacrificed her own chance of leaving--makes a bittersweet center for Brooklyn. Colm Tóibín's spare portrayal of this contemplative girl is achingly lovely, and every sentence rings with truth. Readers will find themselves swept across the Atlantic with Eilis to a boarding house in Brooklyn where she painstakingly adapts to a new life, reinventing herself and her surroundings in the letters she writes home. Just as she begins to settle in with the help of a new love, tragedy calls her home to Enniscorthy, and her separate lives suddenly and painfully merge into one. Tóibín's haunted heroine glows on the page, unforgettably and lovingly rendered, and her story reflects the lives of so many others exiled from home. --Daphne Durham

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Book Club Recommendations

innocent Irish girl is sent by her family on an adventure to seek opportunity. she finds it along with "love" and comes of age, not necessarily in a surprising way.
by merrybee (see profile) 02/23/11

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by jfitzgerald (see profile) 05/08/18

 
  "Well written, but not much happens"by ebach (see profile) 10/05/17

I haven’t seen the movie based on BROOKLYN. How can they do it unless they rewrite the screenplay?

BROOKLYN starts in Ireland. Eilis is a young lady with no job prospects or male compan

... (read more)

 
by rochellegridley (see profile) 11/19/15

Brooklyn is beautifully written and gives a vivid picture of Irish life in America in the 1950's. It is a character study of one young woman of very biddable, flexible moral character.

 
by mariesusanne (see profile) 11/18/15

 
by mfitz12 (see profile) 11/18/15

 
by CathUnit (see profile) 04/08/15

 
  "Brooklyn, A Novel"by kdangle17 (see profile) 03/18/12

 
  "Ok, but..."by Paula_S (see profile) 02/22/12

..the main character really turned me off by her lack of concern and overall thoughtlessness.

 
by merrybee (see profile) 02/23/11

Brooklyn is a sweet, romantic, traditional novel about an innocent Irish girl who goes to Brooklyn to seek more opportunities. It was a quick read. the characters were nicely drawn thought they were not... (read more)

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