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Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

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Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2009.

Costa Book Awards 2009 Judges' comment: "A wonderfully-observed story of love and loss."

A great family drama about a young girl moving from Ireland to New Yok in search of work in the 1950's. Just as she feels life is going somewhere in Brooklyn she has to return to Ireland and the pleas of her family to stay. This is a beautifully told, atmospheric, coming-of-age drama.

If you like Colm Toibin you might also like to read books by Philip Pullman, Michael Benoit and Sebastian Barry.


Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

In a small town in the south-east of Ireland in the 1950s, Eilis Lacey is one among many of her generation who cannot find work at home. So when a job is offered in America, it is clear that she must go. Leaving her family and home, Eilis sets off to forge a new life for herself in Brooklyn. Young, homesick and alone, she gradually buries the pain of parting beneath the rhythms of a new life - days at the till in a large department store, night classes in Brooklyn College and Friday evenings on the dance floor of the parish hall - until she realizes that she has found a sort of happiness. But when tragic news summons her back to Ireland, and the constrictions of her old life unexpectedly give way to new possibilities, she finds herself facing a terrible choice: between love and happiness in the land where she belongs and the promises she must keep on the far side of the ocean.

Brooklyn is a tender story of great love and loss, and of the heartbreaking choice between personal freedom and duty. In the character of Eilis Lacey Colm Tóibín has created a remarkable heroine and in Brooklyn a novel of devastating emotional power.

About the Author

Colm Toibin

Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy in 1955. He is the author of eight novels including Blackwater Lightship, The Master and The Testament of Mary, all three of which were nominated for the Booker Prize, with The Master also winning the IMPAC Award, and Brooklyn, which won the Costa Novel Award. He has also published two collections of stories and many works of non-fiction. His most recent novel is Nora Webster. He lives in Dublin.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th May 2009


Colm Toibin

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Penguin Books Ltd




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