Skip to main content

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin: A book review

BrooklynBrooklyn by Colm Tóibín
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reading Brooklyn by Colm Toibin feels like reading someone's biography. The story arc moves slowly spending quite some time in describing the day to day life of Eilis, it's central character. Anyone who has moved to another country, to a foreign world, who has been homesick and felt lonely will empathize with Eilis's various challenges and experiences. It takes time to build a new life in a new world, and this book lets you in on that, shows you how the said new life is built brick by brick, gradually.

Eilis keeps herself busy throughout the week during her first several months in the new country. This way she spends less time thinking about home. She joins night accounting classes at a local University. She gets used to her life. Gradually, she even starts to enjoy it, doing new things and letting herself be. She eventually falls in love and starts to dream about a beautiful future.

But, tragedy strikes back home and she has to go back, at least for a little while. And, it is here that the story becomes contrived. It is fine if the character suddenly starts falling for someone else and lets it happen, but to make excuses about it, that's plain hypocrisy. I immediately thought about Scarlett O' Hara of "Gone with the wind" when I was reading this part of the book. She is one of my favorite characters. She is not perfect, has shades of grey, but is a headstrong girl who knows what she wants. Scarlett does what she wants to do without a care for what anyone might think. Some might say she has no morals, but at least she never makes excuses. She never tries to act like miss goody two shoes. Eilis, on the other hand makes excuses for every single thing that she thinks is not right. This part of the book just made me angry. In my personal opinion, if you want to be disloyal to somebody, go for it, but don't try to justify it.

In the end, I don't know why this book was such a craze after all. It did start out well, but ended up being an ordinary love triangle. And so, I'd say that this was an ordinary chick lit wrapped in a classic, which is deceiving. And, in the end, you realize that you've been made a fool of by the author. Sorry folks, this ain't no classic.


View all my reviews


Popular posts from this blog

Nature gives us no choice...

The breaking news story in the world of sports right now is the one about Serena Williams announcing her pregnancy. And while this is probably good news, it is not something her fans look forward to. I'm sure it must have been a huge decision for her and something that she must be coming to terms with even now as I write this. The pregnancy means that Serena Williams, the best women's tennis player ever in the open era, who is still at her prime and has just won the Australian Open 2017 will now miss the rest of the season this year. How unfair is that! Why does she have to choose between being a mother and playing tennis when her male counterparts just go through parenthood with a breeze. They never ever have to sit out, never have to make such life changing decisions, never have to contemplate and plan their return to tennis after the birth of their child. 
It is just frustrating that the likes of Djokovic and Federer have been at their prime winning titles with fatherhood …

Ten realizations after working in a wet lab

I started working in a biology lab about a year ago and realized quite a few things while I learnt the ropes. Here they are in no particular order. You go through a lot of pipette tips and latex gloves thereby generating a lot of non-biodegradable waste. So yeah, research does not always help the world, sometimes it just generates new trash. You run out of good clothes because almost all of them have bleach stains on them. And of course, that's because you're too lazy to put on a lab coat. You develop a bit of an OCD coz' you're constantly worried that you didn't turn on the shaker, or left your bacteria plate in the incubator for too long or left the gas on, etc. I can actually list a whole page of stuff I worry about long after I've left for home. :PBacterial contamination can ruin your experiments and make you lose a day and sometimes more.Tiny tubes of 40 micro-liters of enzyme cost over USD 200. That sure seems like a lot of money!You have to make media an…

Because I watched Wonder Woman... :D

I am just back from a screening of Wonder Woman and I must say that it is a gorgeous film. It has a good story, stunning visuals, several funny moments and the best part is that it has a female superhero in a movie that's this big! I loved it. I loved how she has a large presence as a very very strong woman. It is truly a joy to watch a female superhero saving the hero, being badass and taking the lead in the fight against evil. 
This movie is shot almost entirely from a woman's perspective. There are many scenes where Wonder Woman is seen perplexed about the ways of men and mankind, she wonders why a woman would wear a tight dress if she can't fight in it, or why she isn't allowed in a council discussing the future course for the "great war". She questions the role of men in life going as far as saying that she's learned that "men are integral to reproduction, but unnecessary for the purposes of pleasure". This was an awesome line and it's…