Brooklyn by Colm Toibin – Review

E book provided by Netgalley in return for a honest review 

brooklyn cover

Over view

Brooklyn is the story of Eillis Lacey a young woman in 1950’s Ireland Eillis  lives with her widowed mother and her much loved older sister Rose. Rose and her mother have high hopes for Eillis and when the only work she can find in her small home town is working behind a small shop counter for a nasty shop keeper Eillis’ mother and sister conspire for her to move to America to live and work. Sponsored by a local priest who now lives in Brooklyn Rose and Mrs Lacey are told about the great job prospects in Brooklyn for a girl like Eillis along with a thriving Irish community. Before she can protest or fight for her right to stay in the country she loves Eillis finds herself on a boat full of strangers with the worst sea sickness of her life sailing towards a life that had been picked out for her and one she never would have chosen for herself.

Brooklyn 1

What did I think of Brooklyn? (Some spoilers)

Brooklyn is a story with many layers but the more I think about it the more I think it is both Rose and Eillis’ story. Rose is described as being the sister who would have loved to travel – who was exciting and beautiful and wild and free. I think she did want Eillis to have a better life but I think she also gave Eillis the life she would have wanted for her self.

Brooklyn 6

If things had have turned out differently I think Eillis should have stayed in Ireland it is so much a part of who she is as a character and so much a part of the story she misses her home, her streets the people. Yes she is home sick, but for her it never really passed and when she get’s a chance to go home that is solidified for me.

Brooklyn 3

I did have some issues with this book predominately the writing style the way it was written made it hard to connect to the characters they seemed far off and distant some how. There are some characters in this novel (Tony Eillis boyfriend and his younger brother Frank) which I know are supposed be cheeky and funny and it’s more a case that I am being told they are funny rather than experiencing it for myself. This book lacks dialogue which I find problematic.

Brooklyn 5

Overall it was a good read, two great love interests all the time being tarnished by Eillis’s desire just to be a Irish girl in Ireland. When I finished it I felt sad, I still feel sad, I would recommended reading.

3/5 stars

Brooklyn is soon to be a motion picture to be released towards the end of this year definitely a must see!

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5 thoughts on “Brooklyn by Colm Toibin – Review

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