Brooklyn is the second novel by Colm Toibin I have read. The first was The Master, based on the English years of Henry James. I have also posted on two of his short stories.( Two participants in Irish Short Story Week Year Two-March 11 to July 1 have done excellent posts on Toibin and I will link to them at the end of this post). Most of my reading and posting since March 11 has been devoted to the event but I am also reading novels and will post on them upon completion. I will be keeping my posts on these works short for the duration of the event.
Brooklyn is set in the 1950s. It is about a young Irish woman, Eilis, who moves from rural Ireland to Brooklyn in order make a better life for her self. I was so interested in Eilis that once I started Brooklyn I read it almost compulsively because I wanted to find out what would happened to her. Normally I read a number of works at the same time, flipping from one to another (Ipads are great for people who read multiple works at a time) but once I started Brooklyn I stuck with it. I kept hoping nothing really bad was going to happen to Eilis.
|"Short Posts!-sounds good
Eilis gets a job working in a big store and lives in a boarding house owned by an Irish woman and all of the other tenants are Irish women also. The department store and its management are very interesting.
Eilis meets a man, a kind decent one but he is not Irish. She goes to night school. Brooklyn is very much about the immigrant experience. It is about longing for home and the consequences of emigration on those who are left behind.
Brooklyn is a very well done character driven novel. There is enough plot action to make it interesting. It is easy to follow and a pretty fast read.
I liked this book a lot and will be reading more Toibin soon .
Lakeside Musings- "The Empty Family" by Colm Toibin
Tales from the Reading Room has done a great post on Colm Toibin's new book New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families.