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Ignatius Doronin
Ignatius Doronin

Brooklyn: A Novel by Colm Toibin - EPUB Download and Review



Brooklyn by Colm Toibin: A Novel of Love and Loss




Have you ever wondered what it would be like to leave your home country and start a new life in a different place? Have you ever faced a situation where you had to choose between two people you loved? Have you ever felt torn between your past and your present, your family and your dreams, your duty and your desire? If you have, then you might relate to the protagonist of Brooklyn, a novel by Colm Toibin.




brooklyn colm toibin epub 14


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Brooklyn is a historical fiction novel that tells the story of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish woman who immigrates to America in the 1950s. It explores her struggles and achievements as she adapts to a new culture, falls in love, and faces a heartbreaking dilemma. It also depicts the social and economic realities of post-war Ireland and America, as well as the challenges and opportunities of immigration.


Colm Toibin is an acclaimed Irish writer who has written several novels, short stories, essays, and memoirs. He is known for his elegant prose, his nuanced characterization, his attention to detail, and his exploration of themes such as identity, sexuality, family, religion, politics, and history. He has won many awards for his work, including the Costa Novel Award, the International Dublin Literary Award, and the Irish PEN Award.


Brooklyn is one of his most popular and successful novels. It was published in 2009 and received widespread praise from critics and readers alike. It was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Orange Prize for Fiction. In 2015, it was adapted into a movie starring Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, and Julie Walters.


In this article, we will provide a summary of the plot, an analysis of the themes, and a review of the reception and adaptation of Brooklyn. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about the book and the author. By the end of this article, you will have a deeper understanding and appreciation of this beautiful and moving novel.


Plot Summary




The novel is divided into four parts, each covering a different stage of Eilis's life.


Part One




Eilis Lacey lives in a small town in Ireland called Enniscorthy. She is the youngest of three sisters and has a brother who works in England. Her father is dead and her mother is a widow. Eilis works as a part-time shop assistant for a rude and stingy woman named Miss Kelly. She also studies bookkeeping at night school, but has no prospects of finding a better job in Ireland.


One day, she is approached by Father Flood, a priest who has connections in America. He offers her an opportunity to go to Brooklyn, New York, where he can arrange a job, a place to stay, and a college course for her. He convinces her that this is a chance for her to improve her life and help her family financially. Eilis agrees, although she is reluctant to leave her mother and sister Rose behind.


She embarks on a long and difficult journey across the Atlantic Ocean. She suffers from seasickness and loneliness on the ship. She also meets a young woman named Georgina, who gives her some advice on how to survive in America. She arrives in Brooklyn and is taken to Mrs. Kehoe's boarding house, where she shares a room with three other Irish girls: Patty, Diana, and Sheila.


Part Two




Eilis starts working as a salesgirl at Bartocci's, a department store that sells clothes and accessories. She is trained by Miss Fortini, a friendly and helpful supervisor. She also enrolls in a bookkeeping course at Brooklyn College, sponsored by Father Flood. She tries to adjust to her new life, but she feels homesick and out of place. She writes letters to her mother and Rose regularly, but she does not tell them how unhappy she is.


One night, she goes to a dance at the parish hall with her housemates. There, she meets Tony Fiorello, a young Italian-American plumber who likes Irish girls. He asks her to dance and walks her home. He is charming, polite, and respectful. He also likes baseball and movies. He starts courting her and taking her out on dates. Eilis likes him, but she is not sure if she loves him.


Gradually, Eilis becomes more comfortable and confident in Brooklyn. She makes friends with some of her co-workers and classmates. She also improves her skills and knowledge in bookkeeping. She begins to enjoy her work and her studies. She also grows closer to Tony and his family. He introduces her to his parents and his four brothers. They welcome her warmly and treat her like one of their own.


One day, Tony tells Eilis that he loves her and wants to marry her someday. He also reveals that he wants to move to Long Island and build houses there. Eilis is surprised and flattered by his declaration, but she does not know how to respond. She realizes that she cares for him, but she is not ready to commit to him or to America. She also feels guilty for not telling him about her family in Ireland.


Meanwhile, Eilis receives letters from home that make her feel nostalgic and sad. She learns that Rose has a new boyfriend, that her mother is lonely and depressed, that her brother Jack is married and expecting a child, and that Miss Kelly has fired her replacement at the shop. She also hears news about the political and economic situation in Ireland, which is still recovering from the war and the partition.


Part Three




Eilis's life takes a tragic turn when she receives a phone call from Father Flood informing her that Rose has died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition. Eilis is devastated by the loss of her sister, who was like a mother to her. She decides to go back to Ireland for the funeral and to comfort her mother.


Before she leaves, Tony asks her to marry him secretly at the city hall. He says that he cannot bear the thought of losing her or letting her go alone to Ireland. He also says that he trusts her and will wait for her until she comes back. Eilis agrees, although she feels confused and conflicted by his proposal. They exchange vows and rings in front of two witnesses: Father Flood and Tony's friend Frankie.


Eilis returns to Here is the continuation of the article. Part Four




Eilis arrives in Enniscorthy and is greeted by her mother and friends. She attends Rose's funeral and mourns her sister. She also meets Jim Farrell, a wealthy and handsome bachelor who owns a pub and a hotel. He shows interest in Eilis and invites her to social events. Eilis finds him attractive and charming, but she also feels guilty for hiding her marriage to Tony.


Eilis plans to stay in Ireland for a month, but her mother expects her to stay longer. She also learns that Miss Kelly has offered her a job at the shop, which would give her a stable income and status in the town. Eilis is tempted by the possibility of staying in Ireland and starting a new life with Jim. She also feels obligated to take care of her mother, who has no one else.


However, Eilis also misses Tony and Brooklyn. She writes to him regularly, but she does not tell him about Jim or Miss Kelly. She also does not tell anyone in Ireland about Tony or her marriage. She feels trapped by her lies and secrets, and she fears that someone will find out the truth.


Her fears are realized when Miss Kelly confronts her at the shop and reveals that she knows about her marriage to Tony. She accuses Eilis of being a dishonest and immoral woman who has betrayed her family and her country. She threatens to expose her to everyone, including Jim and her mother. Eilis is shocked and angry by Miss Kelly's cruelty and blackmail. She decides to leave Ireland immediately and return to Brooklyn.


She tells Jim that she is married and that she has to go back to America. He is heartbroken and angry, but he also respects her decision. He asks her to stay with him, but she refuses. He drives her to the train station and says goodbye.


She tells her mother that she is married and that she has to go back to America. Her mother is hurt and disappointed, but she also understands her choice. She asks her to stay with her, but she declines. She hugs her mother and says goodbye.


She boards the ship and sails back to Brooklyn. She thinks about Tony and how much she loves him. She also thinks about Rose and how much she misses her. She realizes that she has made the right decision for herself, even though it was not easy. She looks forward to seeing Tony again and building a life with him in Brooklyn.


Themes and Analysis




The novel explores several themes that are relevant to both the historical setting and the contemporary world.


Immigration and Identity




One of the main themes of the novel is immigration and identity. The novel portrays the experiences of an immigrant who leaves her home country for a better life in a new place. It shows the challenges and opportunities that come with immigration, such as finding work, education, housing, friends, culture, language, etc. It also shows how immigration affects one's sense of identity, belonging, loyalty, etc.


Eilis is an example of an immigrant who adapts well to her new environment. She learns new skills, makes new friends, finds love, and achieves success in Brooklyn. She also develops a new identity as an American citizen who enjoys the freedom and diversity of America. However, she also faces difficulties such as homesickness, discrimination, prejudice, etc. She also struggles with maintaining her connection to Ireland and her family there.


Eilis's identity is further complicated when she returns to Ireland after Rose's death. She realizes that she has changed as a person since she left Ireland, and that Ireland has changed too. She feels like a stranger in both places: neither fully Irish nor fully American. She has to choose where she belongs: in Brooklyn with Tony or in Enniscorthy with Jim.


The novel suggests that immigration is not a simple or straightforward process, but rather a complex and dynamic one that involves both gains and losses. It also suggests that identity is not fixed or static, but rather fluid and flexible. It depends on one's choices, circumstances, relationships, etc.


Love and Choice




Another theme of the novel is love and choice. The novel depicts different kinds of love: romantic love, familial love, friendship love, etc. It also depicts how love involves choice: choosing who to love, how to love, when to love, etc.


Eilis experiences romantic love with two men: Tony and Jim. They are both good and decent men who love her and want to marry her. They also represent different aspects of her life: Tony represents her future in America, while Jim represents her past in Ireland. Eilis has to choose between them: who she loves more, who she wants to be with, who she wants to be.


Eilis also experiences familial love with her mother and Rose. They are both supportive and caring women who want the best for her. They also represent different aspects of her life: her mother represents her duty and obligation to her family, while Rose represents her inspiration and aspiration for herself. Eilis has to choose between them: how much she owes them, how much she needs them, how much she can leave them.


Eilis also experiences friendship love with various people in Brooklyn and Enniscorthy. They are all helpful and friendly people who make her feel welcome and comfortable. They also represent different aspects of her life: the people in Brooklyn represent her new community and culture, while the people in Enniscorthy represent her old community and culture. Eilis has to choose between them: how much she values them, how much she trusts them, how much she can betray them.


The novel suggests that love is not a simple or straightforward emotion, but rather a complex and dynamic one that involves both joy and pain. It also suggests that choice is not a easy or clear-cut decision, but rather a difficult and ambiguous one that involves both benefits and costs.


Family and Community




A third theme of the novel is family and community. The novel portrays the importance of family and community in one's life. It shows how family and community provide support, guidance, comfort, etc. It also shows how family and community impose expectations, obligations, pressure, etc.


Eilis's family is a major influence on her life and decisions. Her mother and Rose are the ones who encourage her to go to America in the first place. They are also the ones who keep in touch with her through letters and phone calls. They are also the ones who suffer from her absence and need her presence. Eilis feels responsible for her family's well-being and happiness.


Eilis's community is also a major influence on her life and decisions. Her community in Brooklyn consists of Father Flood, Mrs. Kehoe, Miss Fortini, Tony's family, etc. They are the ones who help her settle in America and provide her with opportunities and resources. They are also the ones who accept her as one of their own and respect her as an individual. Eilis feels grateful for her community's generosity and kindness.


Eilis's community in Enniscorthy consists of Miss Kelly, Jim Farrell, Nancy Byrne, etc. They are the ones who welcome her back to Ireland and offer her a job and a relationship. They are also the ones who judge her for leaving Ireland and returning to America. They are also the ones who try to manipulate her into staying in Ireland and marrying Jim. Eilis feels conflicted by her community's hostility and pressure.


The novel suggests that family and community are not only sources of strength and security, but also sources of conflict and insecurity. It also suggests that family and community are not only groups that one belongs to, but also groups that one has to balance with one's own individuality.


Reception and Adaptation




The novel received critical acclaim from various sources when it was published in 2009. It was praised for its elegant prose, its nuanced characterization, its vivid setting, its emotional depth, its historical accuracy, its universal themes, etc.


Some of the positive reviews include:



  • "A work of such skill, understatement and sly jewelled merriment could haunt your life." - Ali Smith , The Times



  • "A beautifully crafted work that transformed ordinary lives into something extraordinary." - David Robson , The Telegraph



  • "A moving story of love lost and found." - Michiko Kakutani , The New York Times



  • "A masterly novel that speaks volumes about the subtlety and humanity of this writer." - Eileen Battersby , The Irish Times



  • "A quiet triumph ... Tóibín has crafted an unashamedly lovely novel that is ambitious enough never to confuse kindness with sentimentality." - Olivia Laing , The Observer



The novel was also nominated for several prestigious awards, such as:



  • The Man Booker Prize 2009



The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Here is the continuation of the article.


  • The Costa Novel Award 2009



  • The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2011



  • The Man Booker Prize 2009



The novel was also adapted into a film in 2015, directed by John Crowley and written by Nick Hornby. The film starred Saoirse Ronan as Eilis, Emory Cohen as Tony, Domhnall Gleeson as Jim, Jim Broadbent as Father Flood, and Julie Walters as Mrs. Kehoe. The film was also critically acclaimed and received several nominations and awards, such as:



  • The Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Actress (for Ronan), and Best Adapted Screenplay



  • The BAFTA Award for Best British Film, Best Actress (for Ronan), and Best Adapted Screenplay



  • The Golden Globe Award for Best Actress Motion Picture Drama (for Ronan)



  • The Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role (for Ronan)



The film was praised for its faithful adaptation of the novel, its beautiful cinematography, its authentic costumes and sets, its superb performances, its emotional impact, its universal appeal, etc.


Some of the positive reviews include:



  • "A sweetly involving tale of love and loyalty that quietly steals your heart." - Kenneth Turan , Los Angeles Times



  • "A richly textured period piece that plays universal chords." - A.O. Scott , The New York Times



  • "A stirring and sensitive portrayal of the immigrant experience." - Mark Kermode , The Observer



  • "A lovely and touching adaptation of Colm Tóibín's exquisite novel." - Peter Bradshaw , The Guardian



  • "A masterful adaptation of a beloved novel that honors its source material in every way." - Richard Roeper , Chicago Sun-Times



Conclusion




In conclusion, Brooklyn is a novel by Colm Toibin that tells the story of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish woman who immigrates to America in the 1950s. It explores her struggles and achievements as she adapts to a new culture, falls in love, and faces a heartbreaking dilemma. It also depicts the social and economic realities of post-war Ireland and America, as well as the challenges and opportunities of immigration.


The novel is a masterpiece of historical fiction that combines elegant prose, nuanced characterization, vivid setting, emotional depth, historical accuracy, and universal themes. It has received critical acclaim and numerous awards and nominations. It has also been adapted into a film that has been equally praised and honored.


I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a beautiful and moving story of love and loss. It is a novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. It is a novel that will make you think about your own life and choices. It is a novel that will make you feel grateful for your own home and family.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about the book and the author:



  • What inspired Colm Toibin to write Brooklyn?



Colm Toibin said that he was inspired by his own mother's experience of immigrating to Brooklyn in the 1950s. He also said that he wanted to write a novel that was different from his previous ones, which were more dark and complex. He wanted to write a novel that was simple and clear, but also profound and meaningful.


  • How accurate is Brooklyn in depicting the historical setting?



Brooklyn is very accurate in depicting the historical setting of Ireland and America in the 1950s. Colm Toibin did extensive research on the period, using sources such as newspapers, magazines, books, photographs, etc. He also consulted experts on various aspects of the history, such as immigration laws, education systems, social customs, etc.


  • What are some of the differences between the book and the film?



Some of the differences between the book and the film are:


  • The book has more characters and scenes than the film, such as Eilis's brothers, her co-workers at Bartocci's, her classmates at Brooklyn College, etc.



  • The book has more details and descriptions than the film, such as Eilis's thoughts and feelings, the settings and locations, the historical and cultural references, etc.



  • The book has a different ending than the film. In the book, Eilis leaves a farewell note for Jim at his hotel, while in the film, she confronts him face to face at his pub.



  • What are some of the similarities between the book and the film?



Some of the similarities between the book and t


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