It is Ireland in the early 1950s and for Eilis Lacey, as for so many young Irish girls, opportunities are scarce. So when her sister arranges for her to emigrate to New York, Eilis knows she must go, leaving behind her family and her home for the first time. Arriving in a crowded lodging house in Brooklyn, Eilis can only be reminded of what she has sacrificed.
She is far from home - and homesick. And just as she takes tentative steps towards friendship, and perhaps something more, Eilis receives news which sends her back to Ireland. There she will be confronted by a terrible dilemma - a devastating choice between duty and one great love.
With this elating and humane novel, Colm Toibin has produced a masterwork * Sunday Times *
The most compelling and moving portrait of a young woman I have read in a long time -- Zoe Heller * Guardian, Books of the Year *
A work of such skill, understatement and sly jewelled merriment could haunt your life -- Ali Smith * TLS, Books of the Year *
Suffused with humane depth, funny, affecting, deftly plotted ... a novel of magnificent accomplishment -- Peter Kemp * Sunday Times, Novel of the Year *
Brooklyn moved me more than any other book this year -- Nicholas Hytner * Observer, Books of the Year *
A beautifully crafted work that transformed ordinary lives into something extraordinary * Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year *
No book this year gave me greater pleasure -- Nell Freudenberger * Financial Times *
Not a sentence or a thought out of place. It takes over as his finest ficiton to date * Irish Times *
Remarkable freshness and immediacy ... with a lovely comedic lightness * Daily Mail *
A lovely, thoughtful book ... alive with authentic detail, moved along by the ripples of affection and doubt that shape any life: a novel that offers the reader serious pleasure * Daily Telegraph *
Tremendously moving and powerful * New Statesman *
Full of sly fun, lovely comic observation and an almost tangible pleasure in storytelling * Observer *
Refreshingly authentic . . . Eilis is so vivid it's difficult to believe she did not actually exist * Financial Times *