Sunday, 28 February 2016

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín | Review


Genre: Historical Fiction , Adult , Romance
Publisher: Scribnr
Published: May 5th 2009
Pages: 262 
Rating: ✰✰✰✰&1/2

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.Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. 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, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.By far Tóibín's most instantly engaging and emotionally resonant novel, Brooklyn will make readers fall in love with his gorgeous writing and spellbinding characters.
This is a bit of a different read for me but after I watched the movie , I just had to read the book which is unusual for me! 

I felt more sympathy for Éilis in the book and she grew on me throughout but I would say that I felt more connected to the concept than the character. The subject matter is a very personal one to not only Irish people , but anyone in a country that their people have had to immigrate. Despite this , I did like Éilis and I appreciated forthcomings and flaws. This book is very Irish and I'm not sure whether anyone who isn't Irish would like it as much but hey , maybe you want to learn!

The plot moved slower than I expected but I loved getting to know the individual characters and parts of Éilis' story that we don't really see in the movie. I also loved the contrast between the people in her Brooklyn life and her Irish life , which I won't go into due to spoilers but it's very 50/50 in my opinion. 

My one problem with this book was the ending and I'm not sure if I can complain about that. This is an adult novel and I usually read YA so let's just say that the ending is very cutthroat heartbreaking. There's none of this bittersweet , "I'm sad but I'm happy.". Oh , no! The ending is very different to the movie and although I was disappointed with that , it was personal preference whereas this made me want to erase reading that part out of my brain. I really wasn't expecting it but I definitely don't regret reading it because the best books are heartbreaking in my opinion.

If you're feeling the need to read something a little bit different , definitely give this one a go! I enjoyed it more than the movie but the movie was really great! The story is so beautiful that I think it can carry through! 

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