Colm Tóibín's New York Times best-selling novel - now an acclaimed film starring Saoirse Ronan and Jim Broadbent, nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture - is "a moving, deeply satisfying read" (Entertainment Weekly) about a young Irish immigrant in Brooklyn in the early 1950s.
"One of the most unforgettable characters in contemporary literature" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America, 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, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.
Author "Colm Tóibín...is his generation's most gifted writer of love's complicated, contradictory power" (Los Angeles Times). "Written with mesmerizing power and skill" (The Boston Globe), Brooklyn is a "triumph.... One of those magically quiet novels that sneak up on readers and capture their imaginations" (USA Today).
©2009 Colm Toibin (P)2009 Simon & Schuster
Potter's reading is very good. The main character's behavior is very much at odds with her personality as it's presented, and there are a few plot elements that are introduced, then dropped. But the story overall is engaging.
It is said that home is where the heart is, but for those who have made a life far from where they were raised, the idea of "home" is not so clear. And this particularly may be the case when one has immigrated alone to another country, leaving behind family and friends--even when that new life is the source of opportunity and deep relationships.
This quietly bittersweet story revolves around a young Irish woman, Eilis, who leaves her rural Irish birthplace to come and work in post WWII Brooklyn. With help from others, she makes her way in this radically different world and is well on her way to successfully integrating herself into American society when the old country re-asserts its pull on her.
As some have noted, the ending did seem rather abrupt but I felt it appropriate. Islis had to make a difficult choice and we are left to contemplate how this choice works out for her. We are not given a pat answer as to whether her choice was "right" or "wrong" but are invited to participate in her dilemma and to continue to ponder her thoughts, feelings and actions long after the book is done.
Narration is excellent.
Such a bittersweet and lovely tale. I had to read it after seeing the truly excellent movie. It' s nearly a tie as to which I enjoyed more, but I think I'll have to give a slight nod to the book. Highly recommended.
Are all Irish people short on words? So many times it was written "I thought of saying this but didn't see the point..." I could never live like that. I would have liked to see a little more character development with the main character.
I was really surprised when the story ended where it did. I wasn't ready for it, so it was kind of a disappointment. I wanted to know what would happen next. I was a little bored with the romance with Tony, so I'm glad she discovered she wasn't in love with him, but I felt let down that she was going to have to go back to him. I really didn't want her to settle down with anyone so quickly. I wanted her to be on her own and to do something more with her life.
The narrator was a bit old for the reading of a 20 year old woman. The story was alright overall. it had no climax.
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