Book Review: Brooklyn

March 30, 2016

Colm Toibin
288 pages
Audible version

From the Publisher:

Colm Tóibín’s New York Times bestselling novel—now an acclaimed film starring Saoirse Ronan and Jim Broadbent nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture—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.


This book looked interesting to me and kept being suggested to me on Amazon based on my purchases.  I was able to download a free version to listen to so I thought I would give it a try.

This book was okay for me.  It wasn’t anything that I absolutely loved but it wasn’t the worst book ever either.  It held my interest, but I wasn’t dying to listen to it every day like some other books  that I’ve listened too.  There isn’t a lot of action in this book.  The first half is good, it talks about Eilis’ daily life and her journey to America.  I found it really interesting to read about her passage and experience on the boat.  This book really didn’t draw me in at all until probably the last 3rd or last 25 percent of the book.  Then there was some news from home and Eilise has to make hard decisions.  I feel like it took forever for her to finally stand up for herself and make any sort of decision on her own…which I felt didn’t happen until the last 30 seconds!

I wasn’t completely sold on the love story part of this book.  It seemed so one sided and I just didn’t really think Eilis was interested in Tony.  It all seemed pretty slow.  Then out of no where they are in bed together and it was fast!  The scene kinda made me want to close my eyes and fast forward.  It was a little too much for me.

I haven’t watched the movie version of this book, and although the book was so-so I still wouldn’t mind renting the movie and seeing if changes any of my feelings about the story.

The ending made me happy.  I was glad that Eilise made the choices that she made in the end.

The book was good.  If you enjoy coming of age books this might be one that you enjoy.

Final Score:

3.5 stars









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