Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

If you are not familiar with Colm Tóibín who is one of the best modern Irish authors around, this is a great book to start with. Ireland is a country of great writers, and he doesn’t shame his antecessors. His latest novel Brooklyn, is a story that could be part of Joyce’s Dubliners or William Trevor’s collected stories. But, at the same time, the book fells fresh, different and very representative of the Irish-American Experience.

Brooklyn is a story about the sense of not belonging – as well as, the sense of finding your place in the world. The main character is Eilis, an Irish girl for whom there aren’t many opportunities available. It is nothing short of a miracle when a priest invites her to move to New York, and work as clerk. As life changes for her, Eilis discovers new feelings and emotions. The very first one, when the excitement vanishes, is homesickness. “She had been keeping the thought of home out of her mind, letting it come to her only when she wrote or received letters”.

Tóibín’s prose is so restrained, so calm, so simple and clean as to be unusually elegant. This novel is packed with emotion; it’s a careful study of regret. But Tóibín’s story unfolds with such understatement and control that the reader doesn’t feel its full force sneaking up until the powerful ending. This is a magnificent novel. I loved it.

Find and request this book in our catalog.

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