Review: Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

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I liked this book, but didn’t love it. The main character, Eilis (pronounced Aye-lish), lives in Ireland with her mom and her sister, Rose. Eilis is taking bookkeeping courses and Rose works at an office and plays golf whenever she has the opportunity. Eilis eventually gets a part-time job with one of the local shopkeepers and while it is better than nothing, it isn’t her ideal job, especially since the shopkeeper is an unpleasant woman.

When the opportunity to go to America comes up, Rose helps get everything together so Eilis can go. Rose will stay in Ireland to help take care of their mother. Eilis’ trip is sponsored by a priest from her town, Father Flood. Once she arrives in America, she is guaranteed a job at one of the local department stores in Brooklyn.

The story is mostly about Eilis’ time in Brooklyn and the life she starts there. Loneliness, homesickness, love, and sadness are all part of the story. At first I thought I wasn’t going to like it because it started out super slow but then there was a point in the book when everything turned around. Once that happened, the actions of Eilis really started to annoy me. I wasn’t satisfied with the ending, but you can’t please everyone.

Now that I read the book, it’s only natural that I see the movie. A friend told me the movie was better than the book, which doesn’t happen often. I hope in this case it is true.

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