• Brooklyn

  • A Novel
  • By: Colm Toibin
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (956 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about Brooklyn

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Parts great

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.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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ended too soon

the story moved along well, but it made a sudden left with an anticlimactic and abrupt end.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Home is where the heart is

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.

7 people found this helpful

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Loved every word

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.

7 people found this helpful

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Hated the Book, but LOVE the Movie

I read this book when I found out the movie I loved was based on it. Honestly I was very disappointed in the book. Usually the book is better than the movie, but not in my opinion in this case. I hate how Eilis is portrayed as a skeptical character; she seems to read malice into a lot of her interactions with others. In the movie she is more kind, sensible, innocent, etc. I also didn't like that Tony (an Italian boy) was described as so fair with blonde hair & blue eyes; I thought he should have had darker features as most would imagine Italian men. I love Eilis & Tony's love story in the movie and was disappointed when the book portrays it as mostly one sided; that Tony loves Eilis & she for the most part seems almost indifferent.
The only positive thing I can really say about the book is that I'm glad Toibin wrote it so Hollywood producers could alter it and turn it into a wonderful love story worth watching!

5 people found this helpful

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Beautiful

This was a beautifully moving story about the coming of age, family a s life. Definitely recommend

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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That's it?

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • mk
  • 10-23-19

Killing me softly with details.

Sweet story of coming of age as an immigrant in America. But the constant minutia of details was extraordinarily and did not always add to the storyline.

1 person found this helpful

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Unfinished

The story was slow to pick up. As much as you get to finally know the characters, the story, well just ended without finality.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautifully written; wonderfully performed

As others have noted, I thought the ending was too abrupt and the motivation for Islis's final decision was not quite developed enough. Otherwise, the prose was beautiful and the sense of time and places was vivid.

1 person found this helpful