Friday, September 30
Book Review: Brooklyn
Author: Colm Tóibín
Summary: At the centre of Colm Tóibín’s internationally celebrated novel is Eilis Lacey, one of the most unforgettable characters in contemporary fiction. Eilis has come of age in small-town 1950s Ireland in the hard years following the Second World War. When she receives a job offer in America, it is clear to everyone that she must go. Leaving her family and country behind, Eilis heads for unfamiliar Brooklyn, and to a crowded boarding house where he landlady’s intense scrutiny and the small jealousies of her fellow residents only deepen her isolation. Slowly, however, the ain of parting and a longing for home are buried beneath the rhythms of her new life - until she begins to fall in love, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.
My Rating: 5.5/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: I've been reading this book in a read-a-long this past month (September), and although I liked the idea behind the book, in the end the book was not for me.
I liked the writing style, usually I do enjoy a more in-depth style but, this short declarative style worked for the story. The author was able to tell the story and show the reader the immigration experience, including how a person slowly integrates themselves into their new community, but other than that the book didn't work for me.
I didn't like the characters, I gave them a chance, but they just didn't work. Yes, Eilis' housemates were a very odd group, catty and showed a widespread of different reactions and methods of assimilating themselves into a new country, but the characters had little to make them interesting and fleshed out. There was a bit of development for Eilis part of the way through the book, and I started to become interested in the story, but somewhere it seemed to fall apart, Eilis and Tony's relationship was the worst thing that happened to the book I liked the aspects of showing the hardships of the immigration experience, and adapting to the new surroundings, I just wish the author had stuck to that, instead of trying to make a romantic story out of it.
Would I recommend it to read: I'm on the fence, I think some readers would enjoy it, but for the most part, I'm not sure I would.
What to read next: The Gathering
Challenges: 11 in 11, 100+ Challenge, Ireland Reading Challenge