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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

ended too soon

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Diane
  • Louisville, KY, United States
  • 03-11-17

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa
  • Southport, NC, United States
  • 06-02-16

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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A beautiful story of struggle to be true to you

loved it....x1000!! This is a beautiful love story happening between Ireland, England, and a young lady looking to find her own way in the changing world of the 1920's.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Meh

Slow start but I gave it a chance. Just when I thought things would get interesting, it was over. My mother’s stories of emigrating from Ireland during the same time period are WAY more interesting.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

True to life

Not as good as I expected, but still compelling and interesting. The historical moment, the context on which the story occurs was very interesting. As a study in how our everyday actions or lack of actions impact others, I found it real and meaningful.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not a Word Wasted

I listened to the audio book in two long sessions in the garden. Toibin's musical language seems always just enough. Never reaching wide of the moment described, yet always able to convey the confusinvg conflicted emotions with a bare, simple prose only a genius can control.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful