Brooklyn – Colm Toibin

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Brooklyn
Published: 5/7/2009
It is Enniscorthy in the south-east of Ireland in the early 1950s. Eilis Lacey is one among many of her generation who cannot find work at home. Thus when a job is offered in America, it is clear to everyone that she must go. Leaving her family and country, Eilis heads for unfamiliar Brooklyn, and to a crowded boarding house where the landlady's intense scrutiny and the small jealousies of her fellow residents only deepen…

Welcome back everyone, I hope you enjoyed the latest instalment of the Shift series. The rest of my reviews for that series will be coming out over the coming month! This is my VERY FIRST book box ever! So I of course had to take some photo’s when it arrived. And I gotta say, the people who pick what to send me are GOOD.


Writing Style

I feel like I’ve been learning a lot about writing in the past week (thanks to an editor at work who keeps telling me to make changes to my work until it’s “good enough” lol) but at the same time learning nothing. (Case in point, that sentence started with a “so” and I just removed it coz I got told off for doing that too much!)

Anyway! Brooklyn feels like it was written in the style that people in the 1940s-1950s thought and behaved. It was very much formal, with properly structured sentences and thoughts throughout the story.

If I was reading this going to and from work, I’d probably find the writing style a bit dull. Since I was reading this to chill in the evenings with a glass of wine before going to bed, I found it perfect. There was nothing too complex going on, what I was reading was what was happening.

Perfect to just relax with when your brain and eyes are tired and just want to go to sleep. On that note, I did stay up late 2 nights in a row because I couldn’t put the book down.  


Initial Thoughts

Going into this after reading the blurb, I thought there’d be some serious drama, intrigue etc going on throughout the book.

What I got on the other hand was a story written like a journal of a very plain, boring girl in a quiet, country town of Ireland. Her sister Rose on the other hand sounded like quite the character, and the one I’d normally expect the story to be about.

As I read more and more about Eilis, I wondered how on earth she ended up along in Brooklyn. Turns out her sister secured her passage and a job there through an Irish priest.

Not so interesting, but I figured the interesting stuff would happen once she got to Brooklyn. So, I kept reading.


Final Thoughts

Up until Eilis went back home and ended up meeting Jim, I was really liking the book. When Jim was introduced and they struck up a friendship (progressing towards marriage), I was getting more and more confused.

Honestly, I didn’t like what Colm did with that relationship. I know when people are young, long distance relations can have the feelings diminish a little with distance. But that just felt weird.

Without spoiling the story for you I can’t explain exactly why this left such a bad taste in my mouth. Up until the last section of the book when Eilis extends her stay in Ireland, I quite liked the book. If I could re-write that last section or just end it just before it turned bad, I’d be much happier.

Since this book doesn’t even use chapters I can’t tell you where you might as well stop reading. Sorry guys 🙁


Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing One? by Jennifer Cahill.

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2 Replies to “Brooklyn – Colm Toibin”

    Watched the movie based on this book and I was also a little surprised near the end. It was a good story about a character but I found some of the decisions she made difficult to understand after she had been away from home for a time.

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