Brooklyn

Brooklyn

A Novel

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
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Hauntingly beautiful and heartbreaking, Colm Tóibín's sixth novel, Brooklyn, is set in Brooklyn and Ireland in the early 1950s, when one young woman crosses the ocean to make a new life for herself.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2009
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781439148952
9781439138311
1439138311
1439148953
Branch Call Number: FICTION TOIBIN 2009
Characteristics: 262 p. ; 22 cm

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Join the discussion on December 20, 2016. Hauntingly beautiful and heartbreaking, Tóibín's sixth novel is set in Brooklyn and Ireland in the early 1950s, when one young woman crosses the ocean to make a new life for herself.

Join the discussion on December 15, 2016. Hauntingly beautiful and heartbreaking, Tóibín's sixth novel is set in Brooklyn and Ireland in the early 1950s, when one young woman crosses the ocean to make a new life for herself.


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h
HMWLibrary2017
Jul 14, 2017

A quiet, lovely book about that momentous period of your early twenties. Nothing stands out though.

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Jul 30, 2016

At first I really didn’t like how incredibly passive Eilis was. She moved to America because her mother, sister, and Priest told her to, not because she wanted to. In America she still just went along with what those around her wanted, but that’s partially what makes the book interesting as the story progresses and the stakes become higher. This is a rich story of an Irish immigrant who moves to America in the 1950’s, and ultimately has to figure out what she wants.

d
djcowden
Jul 16, 2016

did enjoy this book and can't wait to see the movie

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 05, 2016

Colm Tóibín's Brooklyn is simple storytelling at its best. This is a novel which doesn't accomplish much. It doesn't woo or provoke; it doesn't spend long developing characters or wallowing in language. It's a plot-driven story that really focuses on the story.

This is a novel that doesn't rely on bells and whistles. It doesn't need the added noise. Just the simple voice of an author telling a story that is beautiful and captivating.

g
gusmcrae
May 23, 2016

Every once in awhile I have to step away from the thrillers and suspense novels and delve into something that's a bit more literary. I certainly got that in Colm Toibin's "Brooklyn." This is a relatively quiet novel. A lot happens, and yet it really isn't anything earth shattering. The story follows the rather unassuming life of Eilis Lacy, a young Irish immigrant to (you guessed it) Brooklyn in the 1950s. I mostly enjoyed Eilis. She's an introvert, with a nice sense of humor. She could certainly be frustrating--she is probably the most passive character I've ever come across in a book. And that lead to moments when I found myself wondering what was wrong with her that she couldn't make up her mind???!!!

With that said, I went into this book a bit worried that I'd be bored. And I wasn't. It drew me in each time I picked it up and it gave me a few good laughs along the way. I also think it was an interesting read for me, a woman of 2016. Eilis was certainly a woman of her time and perhaps that's why she was so frustrating to me. This book is a great illustration of how things are different for women today.

All-in-all, it was a good, introspective read.

k
Kathey
Apr 20, 2016

I enjoyed everything except the ending. It seemed rushed to me. Truthfully, I preferred the ending presented in the movie version in which Eilis simply seemed to be a stronger, more decisive, mature adult.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Apr 18, 2016

Brooklyn is a novel by Colm Tóibín. The story follows a young Irish woman named Eilis Lacey as she moves to Brooklyn, New York in pursuit of a better life. At an Irish dance in Brooklyn, Eilis meets a young Italian man named Tony; the two quickly fall in love. When tragedy strikes, Eilis is forced to choose between Ireland, where her family lives, or Brooklyn, where she has found a better life. The novel was made into a film, which was nominated for 3 Academy Awards. I watched the movie first, oblivious to the fact that it started as a novel. I then promptly read the novel and was very disappointed that I didn’t read the book first as the book captured details in a way the movie couldn’t. For example, the book helped me better understand the lives of Eilis’ roommates. Overall, this novel is very captivating and Colm Toibin has exceptionally written this book in a way that leaves readers wanting more. This book is a must read for all ages.
- @BookLover of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

ChristchurchLib Mar 28, 2016

Wanting more opportunities than 1950s Ireland can offer, Enniscorthy native and aspiring bookkeeper Eilis Lacey leaves her mother and sister to start a new life in Brooklyn, where she attends school and finds work -- as well as romance. But when devastating news reaches her from home, Eilis must return to Enniscorthy and settle family affairs. Will she have to sacrifice her new life (and love) in America to resume the existence she's left behind? Recently made into an acclaimed film starring Saoirse Ronan, this novel received praise from The New York Times for showing "how place can assert itself, enfolding the visitor, staking its claim."

a
alibraryguy
Mar 14, 2016

After all the accolades this novel has received, I was surprised by how dull it was. Toibin’s deliberately sparse, unadorned prose, for which he receives praise, comes across as flat and unimaginative. At times, the novel reads like a list of the events in the life of the milquetoast Eilis Lacey, rather than anything nearing a poignant portrayal of a young woman’s life. Eilis’ constant second-guessing of what she said, did or thought grew increasingly ridiculous. As she vacillated her way through most of her life decisions, even the choice she makes at the very end of the novel was forced upon her by the meddlesome Mrs. Kelly. Perhaps this was Toibin’s intention, for surely she would have otherwise succumbed to her mother’s attempted orchestration of her future. As for the glowing reviews, I’d say it’s a case of the emperor’s new clothes.

t
TheresaAJ
Mar 14, 2016

After seeing the movie based on this book, I wanted to read the novel. Eilis Lacey leaves a small town in Ireland to find work in 1950s New York. As she settles into work at Bartocci's Department Store and takes night classes at Brooklyn College, Eilis overcomes her homesickness and unexpectedly finds love with a boy from an Italian immigrant family. A return trip home after her sister's death forces Eilis to decide which side of the Atlantic her future belongs to. Although the movie was pretty true to the book, it completely avoided the social issues raised in the novel -- tension between the various European ethnic groups and with blacks moving into the neighborhood. The movie's ending extends the ending in the book. A beautiful portrait of immigrant life in 1950s America.

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universalPuppy Sep 07, 2012

Some people are nice and if you talk to them properly, they can be even nicer.

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