Literature, poetry, lots of books and just some stuff I write

Tales of an expat: Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín



Brooklyn is definitively one of the loveliest book I have read in the last months. It’s the tale of an expat, a situation to which most of us can relate nowadays, sadly – or at least I can, that’t maybe why this book has affected me so deeply, beside being wonderfully written.

In the early 1950s, Eilis, a young Irish girl who has studied to become a bookkeeper, doesn’t manage to make ends meet in Ireland (rings a bell) and sets off for Brooklyn, thus beginning to live a new in-between life: half of her wishing she were still in Ireland with her mother and sister, the other half struggling to make a life for herself in the States.
Love finds a way to strike a balance in Eilis’ life, but, at the same time, manages to break this fragile, delicate equilibrium. Homesickness and loss and grief and the total loss of any true sense of belonging, of a primordial state of grace and innocence take their toll on your Eilis, who eventually has to struggle to be strong and take, if not the right decision, the best, the least hurtful one.

“It made her feel strangely as though she were two people, one who 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.”

Soundtrack: The hands that built America, U2


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This entry was posted on February 4, 2016 by in Book reviews and tagged , , , , , , .
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