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In a small town in the south-east of Ireland in the 1950s, Eilis Lacey is among many of her generation who cannot find work at home. So when she is offered a job in America, she leaves her family to start a new life in Brooklyn, New York.
Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn is a devastating story of love, loss and one woman’s terrible choice between duty and personal freedom.
It is Ireland in the early 1950s and for Eilis Lacey, as for so many young Irish girls, opportunities are scarce. So when her sister arranges for her to emigrate to New York, Eilis knows she must go, leaving behind her family and her home for the first time.
Arriving in a crowded lodging house in Brooklyn, Eilis can only be reminded of what she has sacrificed. She is far from home – and homesick. And just as she takes tentative steps towards friendship, and perhaps something more, Eilis receives news which sends her back to Ireland. There she will be confronted by a terrible dilemma – a devastating choice between duty and one great love.
‘With this elating and humane novel, Colm Tóibìn has produced a masterwork’ Sunday Times
‘The most compelling and moving portrait of a young woman I have read in a long time’ Zoë Heller Guardian, Books of the Year
‘Magnificent’ Sunday Telegraph
‘A work of such skill, understatement and sly jewelled merriment could haunt your life’ Ali Smith TLS, Books of the Year
When you are finished why not read the companion novel Nora Webster.
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