Brooklyn: Coffee Shoppe Reads (Review)


This is one of those cases in which I hear the title of a book, or see its cover, etc. and immediately have a desire to read it. I never heard a synopsis about Brooklyn beyond knowing that it was the story of an Irish immigrant. Even known just that, I wanted to read this book - before seeing the movie!

Brooklyn , by Colm Tóibín tells the story of an Irish girl named Eilis Lacey, who travels to America to start a new life on her own. The book follows her journey to make a life for herself in a foreign land, and the challenges that come from that. Brooklyn is very much in my eyes, a love story, as it focuses on the relationship that develops between Eilis and Tony, an Italian-American whom she meets in Brooklyn. The roots that Eilis puts down in Brooklyn are later challenged by heartbreaking news from home, which threatens the clarity of her current life course.

I felt that Brooklyn was an emotional roller coaster. I don't normally seek out romances, and I would have just as likely read this book if it had only detailed her life as an immigrant without the love story. I found that in the beginning I felt for her as she embarked on this new journey that was decided upon by other family members. While Eilis did have a support system when she arrived in Brooklyn, she was still entering an entirely unknown world. At first I was wary of her relationship with Tony, hoping for a strong female character who did not immediately give to the whims of a man or the traditional female roles. However, he, and their relationship grew on me and I later found myself anxious as to how their relationship would unfold.

Despite living over 3,000 miles from home, Eilis was still influenced by her family and towards the end of the book, she receives news that threatens the life she has built for herself in her new home of Brooklyn. Begin the emotional roller coaster ride! Eilis journeys home and it is uncertain as to whether she will return to Brooklyn.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I could go on and on about my thoughts on it, but I don't want to give too much away as I strongly encourage you to read it for yourself. I will say though that the ending frustrated me. I have a gigantic pet peeve for when books feel like they end with a sharp drop off - which, I felt this book did. I always find that I want to know more at the end of a story. I hate the unknown I guess! I would certainly love to hear your thoughts if you have also read Brooklyn !

The movie is available to watch here, and you can see the trailer below!

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