Saturday, December 19, 2015

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Colm Tóibín’s New York Times bestselling novel—soon to be a film starring Saoirse Ronan and Jim Broadbent from the award-winning team that produced An Education—is “a moving, deeply satisfying read” (Entertainment Weekly) about a young Irish immigrant in Brooklyn in the early 1950s. “One of the most unforgettable characters in contemporary literature” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), 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, 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, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future. Author “Colm Tóibín…is his generation’s most gifted writer of love’s complicated, contradictory power” (Los Angeles Times). “Written with mesmerizing power and skill” (The Boston Globe),Brooklyn is a “triumph…One of those magically quiet novels that sneak up on readers and capture their imaginations” (USA TODAY).

Review by Mirella Patzer
Also visit my other blog, History and Women

For anyone who decides to read this award winning novel that has been made into a movie, you will find this novel's plot is most definitely character driven rather than plot driven. What this means is the plot unravels slowly, but if you persevere and focus on how the protagonist faces the struggles she faces, you will be rewarded with a fascinating, thought provoking story filled with engrossing characters and situations. The author is definitely talented with the ability to delve deep into the psyche of the people he has created, making them so human, so real, so believable!

I found that the heroine had a far easier immigrant experience than other Irish immigrants of the time. Nevertheless, the story is still credible in its own way. The more I read, the more I became absorbed by the story. It is the last quarter of the book that brings the satisfaction and a little conflict into the tale. Now that I've read the book, I most definitely want to see the movie. 

All in all, I found this to be a very solid read, albeit slow. For those who love character driven novels, and who love to explore the human psyche, this is one of the best. 

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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