Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Brooklyn

Colm Toibin

Shy Eilis is cajoled into leaving the catty provincial life of 1950's Enniscorthy and travels to a new life - a new world - in Brooklyn, USA. At first she is homesick but a chance meeting at a dance sparks romance until a sudden shock forces her to return home. A warm, comfortable read with a surprising twist. Rich and indulgent – and you’re still left wanting more.

Extract

She was nobody here. It was not just that she had no friends and family; it was rather that she was a ghost in this room, in the streets on the way to work, on the shop floor. Nothing meant anything. The rooms in the house on Friary Street belonged to her, she thought; when she moved in them she was really there. In the town, if she walked to the shop or the vocational school, the air, the light, the ground, it was all solid and part of her, even if she met no one familiar. Nothing here was part of her. It was false, empty she thought. She closed her eyes and tried to think, as she had done so many times in her life, of something that she was looking forward to, but there was nothing. Not the slightest thing. Not even Sunday. Nothing maybe except sleep, and she was not sure if she was even looking forward to sleep. In any case, she could not sleep yet, since it was not yet nine o'clock. There was nothing she could do. It was as though she had been locked away.

Parallels
  • The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction by Colm Toibin
  • The Walking People by Mary Beth Keane
  • Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy

Books with similar mood

Jonathan Unleashed

Meg Rosoff

Butterflies in November

Auour Ava Olafsdottir

Skywalking

Jemma Kennedy

Gringo Soup

John Aspinall

Anatomy of a Disappearance

Hisham Matar

Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes

Billy Collins

Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo

Julia Stuart

The Alphonse Courrier Affair

Marta Morazzoni

A Rhinestone Button

Gail Anderson-Dargatz

The Uncommon Reader

Alan Bennett

The Vanishing Half

Brit Bennett

The Restoration of Otto Laird

Nigel Packer

Frangipani

Celestine Vaite

Old People are a Problem

Emyr Humphreys

The Story of Lucy Gault

William Trevor

Bee Season

Myla Goldberg

Gap Creek

Robert Morgan

The Ivy Chronicles

Karen Quinn

Her Mother's Hands

Karmele Jaio

Me

Garrison Keillor

The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai

Ruiyan Xu

Brick Lane

Monica Ali

11 Emerald Street

Hugh O'Donnell

Inheritance

Livi Michael

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Maria Semple

Liminal

Chris Keil

Buddha Da

Anne Donovan

Standing in the Rainbow

Fannie Flagg

Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About

Mil Millington

Misadventures

Sylvia Smith

The Colour of Love

Preethi Nair

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Mitch Albom

The Translator

Leila Aboulela

The Idea of Perfection

Kate Grenville

Empty Words

Mario Levrero

Today Will Be Different

Maria Semple

Miss Treadway and the Field of Stars

Miranda Emmerson

The News Where You Are

Catherine O'Flynn

Dad's Life

Dave Hill

The Food of Love

Anthony Capella

The Pleasure of My Company

Steve Martin

Big Fish: a Novel of Mythic Proportions

Daniel Wallace

Crooked Heart

Lissa Evans

The Lowland

Jhumpa Lahiri

Almost English

Charlotte Mendelson

The Borrower

Rebecca Makkai

Aphrodite's Hat

Salley Vickers

Molly Fox's Birthday

Deirdre Madden

Naive.Super

Erlend Loe