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Brooklyn: A Novel

Brooklyn: A Novel

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Brooklyn: A Novel

Bewertungen:
4/5 (331 Bewertungen)
Länge:
329 Seiten
5 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
May 5, 2009
ISBN:
9781439149829
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

From Scribd: About the Book

A beautiful coming of age story, Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín, is set in Ireland and Brooklyn in the early 1950s, when a young woman decides to cross the Atlantic in search of a better life.

Eilis Lacey has grown up in a small town in Ireland after World War Two. In the poor Irish economy, Ellis is unable to find work at her bookkeeping trade. Then an offer arrives from an Irish priest in Brooklyn to sponsor her if she comes to America. She makes the difficult decision to leave her mother and sister behind to pursue a new life overseas.

Eilis finds work in a Brooklyn department store, and meets Tony, an Italian from a big family. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, terrible news from the home country threatens the fulfillment of her dreams.

Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy Ireland. Brooklyn was on the Booker Prize Longlist and Newsweek’s 50 Books for Our Times in 2009.

Get swept up in this stirring adventure of an immigrant torn between longing for the family and life she left behind in Ireland and the promise of opportunity and love in her new country.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
May 5, 2009
ISBN:
9781439149829
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor


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Brooklyn - Colm Tóibín

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3.9
331 Bewertungen / 171 Rezensionen
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Kritische Rezensionen

  • Colm Tóibín's moving coming-of-age story follows Eilis Lacey, a young woman who leaves her family in Ireland in search of a better life in Brooklyn. Get swept up in this soaring adventure of an immigrant torn between longing for the life she left behind and the promise of opportunity in a new land. Spending a few hours with Eilis (played by Saoirse Ronan in the 2015 film) is one of the best things you could do this St. Patrick's Day.

    Scribd Editors

Leser-Rezensionen

  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed the story but did not like the ending what so ever. It felt too rushed and did not give me the closure that I was looking for.
  • (4/5)
    A quiet but effective description of how love often slips into and out of a young woman's life. Beautiful, but not terribly romantic.
  • (2/5)
    It started out interesting enough, but I found myself getting more and more aggravated with the main character. She was just letting poeple make decisions for her and seemed to not be taking any responsibility for her own life. The whole story felt rushed. There were so many interesting characters that could have been explored and expanded on but they just came and went with no additional information about them.

    I was very disappointed in the ending too. I thought I had missed something, but no it just ends. I love stories about Ireland and Irish immigrants but this was very disppointing.
  • (3/5)
    A fast read, and I did find myself wanting to know how Eilis' story would turn out. But the book fell short for me in a couple ways. First, the style, though refreshingly direct, was nearly all "telling." She thought, she wondered, she decided, she felt and felt and felt. Yes, it's a legitimate style, but left me sleepy. Second, so many plot threads turned out to be rabbit trails; I thought there would be more to the story. I did enjoy this enough to try another of Toibin's books.
  • (2/5)
    The story had me hooked from the beginning. I felt the book started off great and liked the characters and how the story was progressing. The biggest flaw, and what spoiled this book for me was the awkward intimacy and romance that Colm Toibin tried to pass off as endearing. The book did not redeem itself from the awkwardness of the romance scenes, which was very disappointing because the book held so much promise at the start of the book.
  • (5/5)
    Doors opened and closed, sunlight and shade, yesterdays and tomorrows; these are all motifs that come to mind as I consider the beauty of Colm Toibin's poignant novel, Brooklyn. Brooklyn is the tomorrow when the novel begins and almost becomes the yesterday that is forgotten as Toibin shares the story of Eilis Lacey in his own unsensational way. From the start the importance of her family permeates the book as seen in the simple opening sentence: "Eilis Lacey, sitting at the window of the upstairs living room in the house on Friary Street, noticed her sister walking briskly from work." (p 3)Her sister, Rose, along with her mother are important in Eilis's young life as she experiences the opening and closing of doors. The way Eilis who appears almost stoic at times, yet is full of emotional turmoil inside, handles the major changes in her life is both touching and endearing. I often tell a close friend that I do not love (or hate) a character in a book, but I grew to love Eilis as her character matured. For this is also an Irish-American bildungsroman with Eilis, encouraged by her sister, growing and learning and maturing into a woman who must face some difficult decisions.Colm Toibin tells this story through the accumulation of small moments that gradually cohere to form a novel that deals with profound questions of love and life and death. He is at his best when he describes how difficult it is for Eilis to communicate her innermost desires with those closest to her. His abililty to describe the impact of both memories on the moment and the being of the other resonated with my own experience. Meditating on her family that she left in Ireland she muses: "they would never know her now. Maybe, she thought, they had never known her, any of them" (p 73)The otherness of Eilis that permeates the novel arises not only from the isolation of an Irish girl in Brooklyn, but also from the tensions that develop as she tries to develop her own identity as a woman and face the choices she must make as one. It is in these choices, the lyrical beauty of Toibin's prose, and the impression that you are left with - a feeling that you have shared a part of the life of this young woman from Ireland - that make this a meaningful novel.
  • (3/5)
    Toibin packs a lot into a small package here. A fine portrait of a young Irish immigrant making her way in America ... although I found some of the deification a bit much (everyone else may be a vile racist but our girl treats black customers as if they're real people!).
  • (4/5)
    In the years after World War II, life in Britain was hard. Eilis Lacey leaves her home in Ireland for New York at the suggestion of and with the help of a priest who is a friend of her sister. Eilis finds work, friendship and love in this new life. An unexpected trip home requires her to choose whether to go forward with her new life in America or back to Ireland. Eilis grows up in the course of this novel; she starts out doing what her mother, her sister and her priest tell her to do and ends by charting her own course.
  • (4/5)
    I liked the book, but I was expecting to love it. I really liked the whole novel about coming to America and learning to live in America. Then it quickly had some fairly graphic sex scenes, which seemed a bit out of place. I also was not as impressed by the end of the book when she travels back to Ireland. (Don't want to write to much and spoil the story).
  • (5/5)
    One of the 2016 Read Harder Challenges is to read "a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie. Debate which is better." Knowing that our local theater was going to be showing the movie Brooklyn for Valentine's Day weekend, I chose to read Colm Toibin's novel first. This is not my first time with Toibin, and I have always found him to be an excellent word smith. Brooklyn is not an exception. A beautiful, if at times heartbreaking story, well told--a novel which lives up to every promise made by the author's name. The movie was also very well done, and Saoirse Ronan certainly is worthy of the Oscar nomination she has received for this role. How do the two differ? Well, it's much easier to give background and probe emotions in a 270 page novel as opposed to a 2 hour movie. The first thing I noticed was that the movie dispenses with the entire first quarter of the novel in ten minutes. For the most part, the film adaptation handles the story very well, but friends I talked with were confused as to why the heroine emigrates to America, something that anyone who read the book would understand immediately. It's also not clear in the film just why Eilis doesn't tell her mother that she is married until the very end of her visit. The length of a novel allows the novelist to explore such matters in depth. On that issue, it's not clear in the movie that Eilish has told her sister Rose about Tony, but never mentioned his name to her mother and in fact has asked Rose to keep Tony a secret. Two other discrepancies, one at the beginning and one at the end: Jim Farrell appears in the movie only after Eilis has returned to Ireland. In the book, there's a pivotal scene where she encounters him at a dance before she ever leaves Ireland, and comes away from the experience feeling that he has no interest in her. It is because of that encounter that she teases him boldly when she meets him upon her return home. Her attitude in the movie makes no sense because we don't see what happened between them earlier. Also, the book ends before the movie. The final scene in the novel has Eilis standing on the deck looking out across the Atlantic as she is returning to Brooklyn. The movie has her in Tony's arms, with the two comfortably back together. These are all relatively minor differences, and the movie certainly does a good job of condensing Toibin's novel. I would give both movie and novel five stars, recognizing the differences the two media impose on the story. I recommend both highly.
  • (2/5)
    This was a book club choice and was very frustrating for me. I was expecting so much more after reading the brief description of "Hauntingly beautiful and heartbreaking". Really, Where? I found it boring. Eilis was a spineless, flat character who was unable to think for herself. I did take in consideration she was young and it was the 50's and a more innocent time I guess compared to the cynical time we live in now and once Tony entered the story the pace picked up a bit but the story still felt too dreamy and perfect. During the 3rd part I was getting so mad at the fact she was such a twit. Her decisions were ridicules. (Maybe this was the "Heartbreaking" part).How this book was ever considered for a movie is beyond me. I have not seen the movie but I hope they added much more to it than what the book offered.If you love Hallmark channel movies and sappy chic lit then you will probably give this 4 or 5 stars. It was just not my cup of tea.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this coming of age tale of an Irish immigrant girl in 1950's Brooklyn. The main character Eilis represents the changing face of women in America at the time. More women were taking jobs outside the home, bringing in income and gaining independence. College attendance was increasing. Drinking, casual sex, and the search for excitement were the hallmarks of life in the city. Eilis yearns to break free of her traditional Irish upbringing while at the same time longing for the life she left behind. Eventually a tragedy forces her to choose between her new American life in Brooklyn and what could be in Ireland.
  • (4/5)
    I'm not a massive reader of historical fiction, but when the film buzz first arose (with a bunch of my favourite actors attached to the project) it really whet my appetite for this one. It's the story of a young Irish girl, Eilis, who travels from Enniscorthy to Brooklyn in the 1950s to start a new life full of expanded opportunities and interesting people. The novel explores her growth from a timid girl to a poised young woman, and the way she is torn between her Irish roots and American lifestyle. It's written in a slightly detached tone, and the ending was a bit too abrupt for me (albeit realistic), but I loved Eilis's journey and the many little details that brought her experiences to life, whether it was the rough crossing to New York, working in a department store, Christmas at the local parish hall, or spending the day at the beach with friends. A compelling, subtle little novel that didn't rock my world, but made me very glad I picked it up and gave it a chance. Just one word of warning - don't (re)watch the movie trailer if you plan to read it; it spoils (and therefore ruins) one of the most important plot points of the whole novel!P.S. I watched the movie last night and it was BEAUTIFUL. The music is to die for, it streamlines some of the fussier strands of the original, and the slight air of detachment in the novel gives way to a deeply emotional screen adaptation that ends on a perfect note. My only issues with it were that some of the key characters lacked the depth and spark they had on the page, and it skipped over most of the novel's romantic scenes that served to heighten the stakes in Eilis's dual lives and make the necessity to choose between them all the more poignant.
  • (4/5)
    Colm Toibin lulls the reader into a false sense of security in the first part of Brooklyn with his understated way of writing. However, the dilemma that Eilis Lacey comes to face when she returns home to Ireland from Brooklyn completely grabbed my attention. A wonderful story of coming of age.
  • (3/5)
    good writing, but i found it to be a little dull. An irish girl is torn from her family, her country and all she knows to live and work in Brooklyn. Nothing much happens, until the end. I had such high expectations and was a little disappointed!
  • (5/5)
    A lovely book about a young lady who leaves her homeland and goes to American alone. She has a position she doesn't love, goes to college at night and falls in love with an Italian boy. One of her sisters suddenly passes and she returns to Ireland. I will not spoil the ending. It is a story of the new things she discovers in Brooklyn and the life that opens up to her there but the sadness of the things she knew her entire life are left behind.
  • (1/5)
    Story of a young girl that immigrates to Brooklyn. Lots and lots of descriptive material that didn't really engage me in the story.
  • (4/5)
    From my blogThis was a book club read for me and I think a great one for book clubs that are willing to be open and personal with each other. The journey of Eilis will make you think 'how would I respond, what would I decide, do I make decisions for myself or others', where is home and what does it mean to me and I believe the response to some of these questions would represent your feel and rating of the book.I enjoyed the character development in Brooklyn and the different parts of the book.Part 1, we get an intro of Eilis life in Ireland and her journey of sea sickness to Brooklyn. I enjoyed the intro, it showed what immigrants will go through for the betterment of their selves and for family.Part 2, she arrives and the priest that helped to confirm her living in Brooklyn introduces her to her landlady and helps to settle her in a job. I enjoyed seeing who Eilis was, a loner that everyone likes in my opinion. She respects everyone and it shows through her actions. The only thing I think she did for herself is her accounting studies, this fueled a spark in her.Part 3 was the longest. We see Eilis, the Ireland young lady settle in at Brooklyn. She is past the phase of being homesick and becomes a part. She meets a young man and they fall in love. She gains respect over all the other ladies at the house she resides without trying, but being true to herself. She treats customers with the utmost respect, including the coloured ladies when this change took place in Brooklyn. The store moments were my favourites, back in Ireland and Brooklyn. People watching can be so interesting and reading was mesmerizing at times. Tragedy back in Ireland takes place and the decision to go back and visit occurs.....she felt almost guilty that she had handed some of her grief to him, and then she felt close to him for his willingness to take it and hold it, in all its rawness, all its dark confusion. Kindle 68%Part 4 is touching and confusing at the same time. I was disappointed that she hadn't found herself and was unable to be true to herself. I was engaged and couldn't wait to see what happened. You know you are near the ending and BAM, it ends, just like that, the story is over. It was one of the worst endings ever for me, so much so I immediately hated reading the book and considered giving it a 2 1/2. It made her feel strangely as though she were two people, one who had battled against two cold winters and many hard days in Brooklyn and fallen in love there, and the other who was her mother's daughter, the Eilis whom everyone knew, or thought they knew. Kindle 79%I have set with the thought for a few days and I am on the fence with 3 1/2 or 4. I decided on 3 1/2 because I believe it depends on the reader but I wouldn't know who to recommend to. The fact that I can see discussion helps, I think it is a great book club read. I enjoy when authors allow the ending to be open, allowing the reader to make a decision, I truly detested this ending though, I really felt like 'where the hell is the rest'. The ending was a shock to my system.
  • (4/5)
    Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn is one of the most perfectly structured novels I have read. This is often said about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. Unlike Gatsby, Brooklyn is told in a simple and direct style from the point of view of an introspective, somewhat shy Irish woman, Eilis. Her observations are accurate, pragmatic, and tolerant with minimal interpretation as she enters the workforce in Ireland, limited in opportunities for women. Her older sister Rose recognizes Eilis’ talent and is instrumental in getting her a work and living placement in Brooklyn with the help of a new era Catholic priest. Though there are many restrictions in America on women, Eilis is able to make advancements given her grit, patience and business talent, much more than in Ireland. There are universal life traps in America as in Ireland that restrict freedom and opportunity for women. Abandoning one set of expectations for another, Eilis comes to the realization of her inevitable lost independence in both countries. Freedom and determination are undermined by love and regret regardless of setting.The perfect structure and simple and direct style is consistent and seamless from start to finish. I did not want the story to end.
  • (5/5)
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  • (5/5)
    Spare, beautiful writing gives this novel three stars. But the story itself is so lacking in depth, with unrealized characters. Eilis, the protaganist, offers so much potential for the author to plumb the history of the immigrant -- their myriad reasons for coming here, the struggles to make it, the ties to their home country.
  • (5/5)
    It ended too soon! But it was such a nice read, I need more books like this.
  • (4/5)
    A glimpse into immigration in post WW2 Brooklyn. Full of the tone of the time.
  • (4/5)
    Ended too soon.
  • (5/5)
    Seemingly simple prose that draws you in very quickly. Delicate and honest. I haven't seen the movie adaptation of this book, and I don't think I want to since I don't think a commercial film adaptation could do it justice.
  • (5/5)
    Colm Toíbín is the subtlest kind of magician. Reading this book, you watch his hands move gracefully through the simplest of motions as he conjures up a world, realizing only after that he has taken the watch off your wrist and the heart out of your chest. This is a book they will study a hundred years from now, trying to figure out exactly how he manages to levitate such large emotions with such smooth prose. Worth it for the complicated dread implied by an umbrella left at a post office.
  • (3/5)
    Beautifully witten, lack of any real main charater conflict makes it hard to continue reading. She is so bland, going with everyone's plans for her that I never was able to connect. Story ends without any real change in attitude, actions, or plot. I felt sad at the end. There's no way this made a good movie without serious director liberties.
  • (5/5)
    A woman's tale novel extraordinarily well told by a man. Mr Toibin takes on a character, an era and locale largely outside himself and transforms for me what I suspect was a relative's history into something sacramental for this son of Irish immigrants. They met and married in New York during the early 1950s, and I understand each better for Mr Toibin's work.
  • (5/5)
    Great book. Would recommend this to anyone who likes Irish fiction.
  • (3/5)
    The best thing I can say about "Brooklyn" is that, merely by being set in the nineteen fifties, long after the surge of Irish immigration to the United States receded, it deftly avoids a lot of the clichés that plague novels that describe the Irish experience in America. Fittingly, perhaps, the book is also unsparingly unsentimental about what it means the emigrate: the homesickness, the awful fear and apprehension that often accompany partings that are likely to be permanent, and the sense of being displaced: in a place but not of it. Tóibín illustrates the suffocatingly strict social expectations of the small Irish town that Eilis leaves and the (rapidly dissolving) Irish-American community that is set to welcome her on the other side very well. The fact that she lived in a world so predictable that a young woman's being seen with a young man alone more than twice could set off rumors of an impending marriage, makes her moving to the United States by herself seem like an unimaginably risky venture, as it might well have been in those days. Watching Eilis, who finds herself in a boardinghouse under the too-watchful eye of a controlling, small-minded landlady, fight for every second of personal space and free time that her lonely new life will allow her is also pretty heartbreaking. While it probably doesn't mean to, "Brooklyn" makes the case that we don't have stereotype of the drunken Irishman because the Irish are inclined towards drink, but because the lives of Irish lives were often hard and solitary. In a world where air travel and the internet has made much of the world readily accessible to us, "Brooklyn" reminds you how hard moving away from a familiar place can be.Having said all that, and noting that Tóibín is a careful, skilled, and economical writer, I can't really say I enjoyed "Brooklyn" all that much. The book's third-person narration doesn't have a whole lot of indirect in it, and while it's well-written and well constructed, this one is slower and more deliberate than it could have been. It constructs its characters well, but I can't say I ever felt them breathe. This may simply be due to my own preferences and tastes: perhaps readers who prefer nineteenth century literature will be able to sense the interiority that didn't really come through for me. Prospective readers should also be warned that "Brooklyn" is one of those novels, like, say, "Mrs. Dalloway", where nothing much happens. This isn't to say that life-altering decisions aren't taken or that Tóibín's characters don't grow or change, but the book's scope -- like its setting -- sometimes seems painfully constricted. I can't quite imagine how they managed to make a movie out of it. This is an admirable book in many ways, but it's really not my thing. It could be yours, though.