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Brooklyn: A Novel by Colm Toibin

Brooklyn: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Colm Toibin

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2,5171712,406 (3.68)346
Title:Brooklyn: A Novel
Authors:Colm Toibin
Info:Publisher Unknown (2010)
Collections:Your library, Read in 2010, Bookclub

Work details

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

  1. 72
    'Tis, a Memoir by Frank McCourt (bergs47)
  2. 50
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (kiwiflowa)
  3. 30
    Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (Othemts)
  4. 10
    Someone by Alice McDermott (Ciruelo)
  5. 10
    The Empty Family: Stories by Colm Tóibín (Christy.)
  6. 10
    Lucy Gayheart by Willa Cather (pacocillero)
  7. 00
    The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert (charl08)
  8. 11
    The Walking People by Mary Beth Keane (JGoto)
    JGoto: Irish immigrants with emphasis on family, but the story is more complex.
  9. 00
    Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan (DubaiReader)
  10. 01
    Lila by Marilynne Robinson (charl08)
    charl08: In both novels, key character faces new, difficult choices in new places. Both beautifully written, compelling.
  11. 01
    Heaven and hell by Jón Kalman Stefánsson (anglemark)
    anglemark: There's something about the laconic prose and the description of a young person's plight that made me associate these two books with each other.

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» See also 346 mentions

English (162)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All languages (172)
Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)
A beautifully written story of Eilis, a bright young Irish woman. Set in the late 40's, early 1950's, Eilis is studying bookkeeping but unable to find work. Her older sister Rose manages her immigration to American as the story opens. The author takes us deftly into the mind and spirit of the young girl, traveling alone in third class, settling into a boarding house, finding her first work. Her homesickness is artfully developed, as is her recovery and blossoming into a new life. Her first days in Ireland on a visit after Rose's death are also beautifully crafted, and when the lure of home is set against her new life in Brooklyn, the reader is drawn in the fight for Eilis' heart and loyalty.

This is a graceful story, nothing overstated, nothing dramatic, but a pure glimpse into the heart and mind of a young woman in particular circumstances at a particular time. Recommended. ( )
  wareagle78 | Jan 5, 2015 |
When you are looking for a story to entertain you, you need to look no farther than this story of an Irish immigrant who comes to Brooklyn in the 1950’s. Eilis, seems doomed to life in an Irish village until the visit of an American priest who sponsors her emigration to Brooklyn NY. I love these stories of people show their mettle as they adapt to a different life. Probably not a book for which we’ll see a movie adaption, but for a good rainy day story, this is perfect. ( )
  brangwinn | Nov 13, 2014 |
Brooklyn: A Novel by Colm Toibin: (4*)

This is a wonderful story about a young Irish lady, Eisle, who, because there is very little work to be found in her Irish village after WW II, 'is' immigrated to Brooklyn, New York. I say 'is' because it is her mother, her older sister Rose and a well intentioned and benevolent priest, Father Flood, who make the decision. The priest sponsors Eilis, finds an Irish boarding house for young ladies, finds a job for her and also finds the funds for everything. Rose buys her some new clothes, shoes, etc. Eilis has very little to say about it and if she had spoken up it would have been to tell her family, mother, sister and two brothers, that she didn't want to leave. That she wanted to remain in Ireland with her family. But her sister is well set up in her job, has friends and a busy life so it makes sense that the lonely Eilis would be the one to go.
She is horribly ill on the ship for most of the trip over and is happy to finally see America. She is met and taken round to meet her new employers and her landlady. She moves in, meets the other young ladies in her house and settles in to her job at the department store and is very good at her work.
But she cannot get over her homesickness. She makes no friends and keeps to herself excepting for mass, work and at mealtimes. Her supervisor notices that something is wrong and it is reported to Father Flood who meets with Eisle. They discuss her unhappiness and decide it would be good for her to take some night classes at Brooklyn College in Accounting, Bookkeeping and Law lectures. She attends school four evenings a week, Monday through Thursday.
Father Flood also has begun to have dances for the young folk at the parish hall in order to earn funds for the charities the parish helps to support. He expects to see Eisle attending in support of the plan. So she goes with some of the girls from the boarding house and slowly but surely between school and the dances she begins to develop some casual friendships. She even meets a young man, Tony, with whom she begins walking out.
This is just the very tip of what is in this story, just the bare 'facts', one might say. The book is written absolutely flawlessly and beautifully. The story took my heart with it. I know Brooklyn has been out for some time but if you've not yet read it you may want to. I have never read Toibin before but plan to find other books by him. I cannot recommend his writing highly enough. I would have loved to see this book continue on another 250 pages. ( )
2 vote rainpebble | Jul 31, 2014 |
A beautifully rendered, honest, poignant account of a young Irish girl's experiences coming to America. An excellent book, I look forward to more from Mr. Toibin in the future. ( )
  emilyingreen | May 28, 2014 |
This is a very caring written story about a young Irish woman who hasn't found work in her home country and therefore emigrated to Brooklyn. This was arranged by her older sister and an Irish priest from Brooklyn was taking her under his wing. He organised where she could live, where she could work and also the night classes in a college. After the first homesickness and with the help of 'good angels' she soon became familiar with the life of her new place. She met an Italian fellow and fell in love with him.
Unfortunately, there was a death at her family place and after finishing her studies she returned back to Irland. There everybody tried to wed her. She had to decide staying in Irland or going back to her new life in Brooklyn.
I loved the reading very much and can strongly recommend it. ( )
  Ameise1 | May 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 162 (next | show all)
Ultimately, Brooklyn does not feel limited. Tóibín makes a single incision, but it’s extraordinarily well-placed and strikes against countless nerve-ends. The novel is a compassionate reminder that a city must be made of people before it can be made of myths.
In tracking the experience, at the remove of half a century, of a girl as unsophisticated and simple as Eilis — a girl who permits herself no extremes of temperament, who accords herself no right to self-assertion — Toibin exercises sustained subtlety and touching respect. . .

In “Brooklyn,” Colm Toibin quietly, modestly shows how place can assert itself, enfolding the visitor, staking its claim.
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Eilis Lacey, sitting at the window of the upstairs living room in the house on Friary Street, noticed her sister walking briskly from work.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
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.

Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the years following World War Two. Though skilled at bookkeeping, she cannot find a job in the miserable Irish economy. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America -- to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood "just like Ireland" -- 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, a blond Italian from a big family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. He takes Eilis to Coney Island and Ebbets Field, and home to dinner in the two-room apartment he shares with his brothers and parents. He talks of having children who are Dodgers fans. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.
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It is Enniscorthy in the southeast of Ireland in the early 1950s. Eilis Lacey is one among many of her generation who cannot find work at home. Thus when a job is offered in America, it is clear to everyone that she must go.

(summary from another edition)

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