Saturday 13 August 2016

Book Review: Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

Title: Brooklyn
Author: Colm Tóibín
Publisher: Picador Australia
Publication Date: 2015 (2009)
Pages: 264
Format: Paperback
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: Won in a Giveaway

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Young Eilis Lacey dreams of life beyond the confines of her tiny Irish village, but unlike her beautiful sister, Rose, Eilis' gifts are of a more practical nature: she has a head for numbers, and is a loving and dutiful daughter. Yet her ambition cannot be hidden and soon is noted by the Parish Priest, Father Flood. Via a church contact, he arranges for Eilis to travel to America where a job opportunity has arisen in New York with a reputable "merchant of Italian origin".
Eilis finds lodgings in an eccentric boarding house and ekes out an existence in the cosmopolitan melting pot that is 1950s Brooklyn, impressing her employer, outwitting her landlady, and even falling in love. It seems her dream is truly becoming a reality. But then fate intervenes: a family crisis back home forces Eilis to make a choice between the past and the future, the old world and the new.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

Brooklyn is a pleasant, easy read. I won both the book and DVD in a giveaway and decided to read the book first. Eilis is a compelling and interesting character, and I enjoyed the start of the story as she made her way across the sea to start a new life. However, I felt the end was a little rushed, and there never seemed to be quite enough conflict when it came down to her decisions about her future. I would have liked to have seen the final part extended just a little, making her final choice harder. Nonetheless, this is a wonderful beach read and I look forward to seeing the film version in the next few days. 3.5 stars

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