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Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Eilis Uleashed

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. A young Irish woman moves to Brooklyn in the 1950s where she forges a new life for herself.  Eilis works in a department store and attends night classes to become a bookkeeper.  Eventually she meets someone special and things seem to be going her way.  Then, news arrives from her home in Ireland, leading her on a complicated path of emotions.

These complications brought about frustrations for me, as a reader.  At times I wanted to slap her and say “What’s wrong with you? Snap out of it!” While most of the book held my interest with charm and a sense of anticipation, it later switched gears and held my interest with a sense of irritation and expectation. It left me feeling a bit ambivalent, but it also opened the door for a good discussion at our book club meeting.

My book club members thought pretty much the same thing. Two people did have a more forgiving view, which makes me wonder if I was too judgmental. Wish I could tell you a bit more, but I don't want to give it away. 

Want to join the discussion?  Read our next book selection, Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal and email your thoughts.  Review and comments will be posted on March 21, 2016.

This book met one of my 2016 Book Challenges:  Read a book set in the 1950s.

Happy Reading,


  1. I am glad I'm not the only one who disliked this book (see here. One of the worst books I have read in ages.

    Marianne from
    Let's Read

    1. Hi Marianne, nice to hear from you. It was too bad the book turned out the way it did. I was really looking forward to it :(

    2. So was I, and it's a good opportunity wasted. I heard the movie was better. Happens sometimes when a good subject is taken on by someone who really seems to care.

      Have a good weekend,


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