A Book Review: Brooklyn

Mr brother gave me this book for my birthday, and I finally finished reading it. I read off and on because most of my nights are spent on school and work. Its been a long time since I actually read something that is not academic related. One of my goals is to read more, and I’m reading The Glass Castle next!

Brooklyn is written by an Irish author, Colm Toibin. This book follows a young Irish girl who has the opportunity to go to America. Eilis leaves behind her family, mainly her mother and sister. Her father died when she was young, and her brothers already left to find jobs.

Keep in mind this is the 1950s, so leaving home is a big deal because the means of transport and communication is differentΒ than it is now. Eilis’s story of coming to America is more glamorous and lucky than others, but I do not discredit her story or those who had journeys similar to hers. She lives in Brooklyn, works at a shop, goes to college at night, and eventually falls in love with an Italian boy on a whim; his name is Tony.

She also returns home after a heartbreaking tragedy that I’m sure many people has experienced. At this part she is unsure if she wants to return to America. I wasn’t really sure what to make of the ending because her decision seemed triggered and quick, I couldn’t tell if she was happy.

Once I finished the book, I immediately watched the movie. The movie was fast paced and I didn’t connect with the characters. Tony was horribly cast in my opinion. The ending of the movie made Eilis seem so confident and content about her decision.

If I were Eilis, I would not have made the same decision as her. What do you choose? Your new life in Brooklyn with a new love or family in the familiar setting?

The book was a little slow in the beginning half, and picks up pace when Eilis meets Tony. The book captured the feeling of not belonging anywhere and how feelings and people change the meaning of home.

What makes a home home?

My parents also immigrated to the U.S., and I can’t possibly begin to imagine the journey of immigrants. Even after years of living in the U.S., home for them is still not Florida.


–Next post: Why is summer so busy?


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