It is Enniscorthy in the south-east of Ireland in the early 1950s. Eilis Lacey is one among many of her generation who cannot find work at home. Thus when a job is offered in America, it is clear to everyone that she must go. Leaving her family and country, Eilis heads for unfamiliar Brooklyn, and to a crowded boarding house where the landlady's ...
It is Enniscorthy in the south-east of Ireland in the early 1950s. Eilis Lacey is one among many of her generation who cannot find work at home. Thus when a job is offered in America, it is clear to everyone that she must go. Leaving her family and country, Eilis heads for unfamiliar Brooklyn, and to a crowded boarding house where the landlady's intense scrutiny and the small jealousies of her fellow residents only deepen her isolation. Slowly, however, the pain of parting is buried beneath the rhythms of her new life - days at the till in a large department store, night classes in Brooklyn College and Friday evenings on the dance floor of the parish hall - until she begins to realize that she has found a sort of happiness. As she falls in love, news comes from home that forces her back to Enniscorthy, but not to the constrictions of her old life, but to new possibilities which conflict deeply with the life she has left behind in Brooklyn. "Brooklyn" is a tender story of departure and return of great love and loss, and of the terrible choice between personal freedom and duty. In the character of Eilis Lacey Colm Toibin has created a remarkable heroine and in Brooklyn a novel of devastating emotional power.
nice flow to the story - however the ending cam much too soon!
Jan 7, 2010
This is a wonderful book about a young woman's introduction to life in the US in the 1950s. It mirrored stories I heard from my mother's early days in New York, and since it took place in my home town I am familiar with the locale. I highly recommend this.
Sep 17, 2009
A book you'll want to talk about
I loved this book. The writing was exquisite. At times, I found it hard to believe it wasn't written by a woman - so in tune was the writer with his main character.
I couldn't put it down - so much so, that dinner was delayed at our house that evening. With the dishes still on the table I ran back to finish the book. In the hours and days after finishing the story - my mind kept returning to it in a haunting kind of way.
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