top of page
BROOKLYN
BROOKLYN

With the arrival of Colm Tóibín’s highly anticipated 'Long Island', now is the perfect time to read or re-read its prequel “Brooklyn” about a young Irish immigrant arriving in New York in 1952, which was also made into an iconic film starring Saoirse Ronan.

- best book club reads - 

Readability

★★★★★★★★★✰

Talkability

★★★★★★★✰✰✰

Den scores

★★★★★★★★✰✰

BROOKLYN

BY COLM TÒIBÍN

272 pages

With the arrival of Colm Tóibín’s highly anticipated 'Long Island', now is the perfect time to read or re-read its prequel “Brooklyn” about a young Irish immigrant arriving in New York in 1952, which was also made into an iconic film starring Saoirse Ronan.

Eilis Lacey lives with her widowed mother and her beautiful elder sister Rose in a small home in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, their three elder brothers having all left in search of better jobs. Ellis, the youngest is bright but destined to stay with her mother until Father Flood arrives one day to inform the family how he could get someone, clever and bright like Ellis, work in his NY parish of Brooklyn. Before she knows it, Eilis is reluctantly crossing the Atlantic and then living in Mrs Kehoe’s boarding house for single girls and working on the shop floor of Bartocci’s. At one of the Friday night dances organised by Father Flood, she meets Tony, a warm and charming Italian and they are soon committed to each together. When Eilis receives some heart-breaking news from back home she is forced to return and in doing so acknowledges the life she left behind. Her best friend Nancy introduces her to Jim Farrell and Eilis soon finds her heart strings pulled in two different directions.

Tóibín’s gift is to write about ordinary people’s lives and everyday familiarity in such an entrancing and understated way. Consequently, it’s the undercurrent of ‘nobody ever really being able to express their true feelings’ which ignites the story. Eilis is not remarkable or special, and yet the reader becomes completely captivated by her life and what path she’ll decide to take, so much so, that when the end comes it leaves you rather deflated. But now with the release of Tóibín’s sequel ‘Long Island’, set twenty years later, you can stay involved for longer. And minor summer spoiler ... 'Long Island' will be reviewed next month in the Den!

- for people who love books - 

bottom of page