Colm Toibin's "Brooklyn" is a devastating story of love, loss and one woman's terrible choice between duty and personal freedom. It is Ireland in the early 1950s and for Eilis Lacey, as for so many young Irish girls, opportunities are scarce. So when her sister arranges for her to emigrate to New York, Eilis knows she must go, leaving behind her ...
Colm Toibin's "Brooklyn" is a devastating story of love, loss and one woman's terrible choice between duty and personal freedom. It is Ireland in the early 1950s and for Eilis Lacey, as for so many young Irish girls, opportunities are scarce. So when her sister arranges for her to emigrate to New York, Eilis knows she must go, leaving behind her family and her home for the first time. Arriving in a crowded lodging house in Brooklyn, Eilis can only be reminded of what she has sacrificed. She is far from home - and homesick. And just as she takes tentative steps towards friendship, and perhaps something more, Eilis receives news which sends her back to Ireland. There she will be confronted by a terrible dilemma - a devastating choice between duty and one great love. "With this elating and humane novel, Colm Toibin has produced a masterwork". ("Sunday Times"). "The most compelling and moving portrait of a young woman I have read in a long time". (Zoe Heller, "Guardian", Books of the Year). "A work of such skill, understatement and sly jewelled merriment could haunt your life". (Ali Smith, "TLS", Books of the Year). Colm Toibin was born in Ireland in 1955. He is the author of five other novels, including "Brooklyn", "The Blackwater Lightship" and "The Master", both of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and a collection of stories, "Mothers and Sons".
Very good. Appearance of only slight previous use. Cover and binding show a little wear. All pages are undamaged with potentially only a few, small markings. Help save a tree. Buy all your used books from Thriftbooks. Read. Recycle and Reuse.
Very good. Book has appearance of light use with no easily noticeable wear. Millions of satisfied customers and climbing. Green Earth Books is the name you can trust, guaranteed. Spend Less. Read More.
Good. 2010-Paperback-Used-Good--Shows some shelf-wear. May contain old price stickers or their residue, inscriptions or dedications from previous owners in first few pages and remainder marks.-. -Hall Street Books proudly ships from Brooklyn, NY. All orders are processed and shipped within 24 business hours, Mon-Fri. Expedited shipping and tracking available within the US. Hall Street's No-Worry guarantee lets you buy with confidence!
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.
Publishers Weekly, 2009-03-23 Colm Toibin's engaging new novel, Brooklyn, will not bring to mind the fashionable borough of recent years nor Bed-Stuy beleaguered with the troubles of a Saturday night. Toibin has revived the Brooklyn of an Irish-Catholic parish in the '50s, a setting appropriate to the narrow life of Eilis Lacey. Before Eilis ships out for a decent job in America, her village life is sketched in detail. The shops, pub, the hoity-toity and plainspoken people of Enniscorthy have such appeal on the page, it does seem a shame to leave. But how will we share the girl's longing for home, if home is not a gabby presence in her emigre tale? Toibin's maneuvers draw us to the bright girl with a gift for numbers. With a keen eye, Eilis surveys her lonely, steady-on life: her job in the dry goods store, the rules and regulations of her rooming house-ladies only. The competitive hustle at the parish dances are so like the ones back home-it's something of a wonder I did not give up on the gentle tattle of her story, run a Netflix of the feline power struggle in Claire Booth Luce's The Women. Toibin rescues his homesick shopgirl from narrow concerns, gives her a stop-by at Brooklyn College, a night course in commercial law. Her instructor is Joshua Rosenblum. Buying his book, the shopkeeper informs her, "At least we did that, we got Rosenblum out." "You mean in the war?" His reply when she asks again: "In the holocaust, in the churben." The scene is eerie, falsely naive. We may accept what a village girl from Ireland, which remained neutral during the war, may not have known, but Toibin's delivery of the racial and ethnic discoveries of a clueless young woman are disconcerting. Eilis wonders if she should write home about the Jews, the Poles, the Italians she encounters, but shouldn't the novelist in pursuing those postwar years in Brooklyn, in the Irish enclave of the generous Father Flood, take the mike? The Irish vets I knew when I came to New York in the early '50s had been to that war; at least two I raised a glass with at the White Horse were from Brooklyn. When the stage is set for the love story, slowly and carefully as befits his serious girl, Toibin is splendidly in control of Eilis's and Tony's courtship. He's Italian, you see, of a poor, caring family. I wanted to cast Brooklyn, with Rosalind Russell perfect for Rose, the sporty elder sister left to her career in Ireland. Can we get Philip Seymour Hoffman into that cassock again? J. Carol Naish, he played homeboy Italian, not the mob. I give away nothing in telling that the possibility of Eilis reclaiming an authentic and spirited life in Ireland turns Brooklyn into a stirring and satisfying moral tale. Toibin, author of The Master, a fine-tuned novel on the lonely last years of Henry James, revisits, diminuendo, the wrenching finale of The Portrait of a Lady. What the future holds for Eilis in America is nothing like Isabel Archer's return to the morally corrupt Osmond. The decent fellow awaits. Will she be doomed to a tract house of the soul on Long Island? I hear John McCormick take the high note-alone in the gloaming with the shadows of the past-as Toibin's good girl contemplates the lost promise of Brooklyn. Maureen Howard's The Rags of Time, the last season of her quartet of novels based on the four seasons, will be published by Viking in October. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.