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Brooklyn : a novel

by Colm Tóibín

  Print book : Fiction  |  1st Scribner hardcover ed

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
book review   (2009-05-28)

Very Good

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by AnnetteDunlea

Brooklyn is a new novel by Colm Toibin.It is now available in paperback , its ISBN is : 067091813x and its publisher is Viking. This enchanting novel is narrated in the third person but told from Eilis’s perspective. Set in Ireland after World War 11, Enniscorthy  was a poor and Catholic place to live. Rose and her mother with the help of Fr.Flood arrange for Eilis to go and live and work in Brooklyn. The shy, unworldly girl travels by boat and is physically sick with fear. She must start a new life and make her own decisions. She realises on the boat  journey that this voyage was her sister’s dream and she sacrificed it for her. After a very sad and lonely journey to settle into American life she meets an Italian man Tony and love blossoms. Rose dies suddenly and Eilis out of a sense of duty return homes. Tony is in America, her new life and career is in Brooklyn and she realises she is a new modern women and her mother wants her to stay in Ireland. She is tortured with guilt:  duty or love. Then an Irish version of Tony is attracted to her, more chaos. She now has 2 men and 2 countries to choose from. She returns to America to continue her life. With a slow pace and lots of elegant prose Toibin beautifully captures the problems of all women duty versus career and duty versus love. He is incredably insightful to women’s feelings and protrays them perfectly.I felt her homesickness and her heartbreak. Her character grew up along the story with you. A lovely coming of age tale which I highly recommend. (I am bias I am Irish and a romance writer) Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap.

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