Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibín
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Scribner; Media Tie-In edition (September 8, 2015)
Reading Sara Rating: 7/10
Reading Sara Review: It took me far too long to pick up and read this fun story. If you have not read it, don’t make the same mistake I did – pick it up. It’s a quick read and perfect for summer. I so wish that I had heard of this book before the movie came out – because while the film follows the book fairly close, there are some significant differences, and I think it is only natural to prefer the version that you experienced first. More on that later, though – first, the book.
Brooklyn follows Eilis Lacey as she travels from her small town in Ireland to Brooklyn to start a new life. But it is about so much more than that, as a reader, I cried as she said goodbye to her family, when she receives her first letters from home and starts going to school to when she meets Tony. My point here is that it is so much more than a love story, it is a story about finding your way in life, making choices, and living with your decisions.
This book is not exceptional; it does not tell the Irish immigrant story entirely. Eilis was incredibly fortunate to be able to make the decisions, however hard they may have been, she had the opportunity. If you are seeking a complex immigration coming of age story, this is not it. But, again, it is a fun, quick read.
Here’s the thing: I liked the movie better. This is a rare thing for me. What did everyone else think? Movie or book? Maybe it is because I saw the movie first, so was able to picture the characters when reading the book – and expected things to happen a certain way. The book left me with more questions and confusion at the end than I had expected. With that being said, it’s still fun, and I still recommend it.