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Book of the month: and April's Irish winner is... BROOKLYN by Colm Toibin (discussion Tue 27 April)

(93 Posts)
TillyBookClub Sun 28-Mar-10 23:30:55

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raggie Tue 27-Apr-10 21:14:12

Funny you should say that Tilly as I couldn't stop picturing Tony as Pete Campbell from Mad Men. I know he wasn't meant to look like that, but that's who he was in my head. hmm

Laugs Tue 27-Apr-10 21:16:24

But there is some happiness isn't there? I definitely had a wee bit of envy for her lives both in Brooklyn and in Enniscorthy. Neither are really bad lives.

I do wonder what will become of her, although I hope there isn't a sequel as I don't want to be told. I think she's out there on her own now as a character, she's not Toibin's any more!

TillyBookClub Tue 27-Apr-10 21:23:42

Me too, raggie. A slick black Brylcreemed hairdo. And the slightly needy, emotional side coupled with tough talking, showy-off side.

Weird, as I can't stand Pete and I did quite like Tony so not sure how I can place them together so closely.

I do wonder what would have happened if Tony hadn't made them get married. Just the sex wouldn't have prevented her marrying the Irish one, would it? That old biddy couldn't rule her future with that gossip, as long as the two of them decided it was ok. It is more Eilis realisation that she can't undo the marriage that sends her back, isn't it?

Laugs Tue 27-Apr-10 21:23:47

I wonder if she'll carry on studying and become an accountant, or if she'll give it all up once they're properly married.

raggie Tue 27-Apr-10 21:24:44

Laugs I'm torn between thinking it fits so much better not to know and yet wanting to know. I'm sure there could be plenty more in store for Eilis to drift through.

Laugs Tue 27-Apr-10 21:27:13

Yes, I think it's that realisation. If she hadn't married Tony, I think she'd have stayed in Ireland. And Tony knew that too.

Laugs Tue 27-Apr-10 21:31:39

Raggie, I mean I would love a perfect sequel, but I just don't know how he could get it right. If she continued drifting and never making a decision on anything, it would get a bit frustrating. If she hit the Sixties and became a hippie and left Tony to live in a commune, it would make all this heartfelt indecision so pointless.

TillyBookClub Tue 27-Apr-10 21:31:58

I'm itching to ask the author if he had different endings in mind, or different dilemmas for her that ended up in the wastepaper bin. She came alive for me in a way that very few other characters ever have, and I'd love to know how he shaped her.

Will keep you posted on this thread when we do pin him down and get a date for a chat.

I'm heading to bed with May's Book of the Month now, thanks to all for a great evening, see you on Tue 25 May for the next one...

raggie Tue 27-Apr-10 21:32:36

<snort! at Eilis becoming a hippie>

Laugs Tue 27-Apr-10 21:33:49

Come to think of it, life must have been so hard for women who came of age in the 50s when their choices in life were so limited, then to witness the 60s happening and this whole world of possibilities being open to girls just a generation younger.

Laugs Tue 27-Apr-10 21:37:12

Thanks Tilly! This has been my first time taking part and I really enjoyed it. Will have to get hold of the next one.

raggie Tue 27-Apr-10 21:40:18

Yes that's true. I remember being a bit confused at the time of reading, thinking at the time that the characters seemed so straight and prim but that it was the 50s, like (embarrassingly) Happy Days? Just goes to show how quickly things changed in a short space of time.

Only watched the first series of Mad Men so far but that chronicles the fast pace of social change in the early sixties - have you seen it?

Laugs Tue 27-Apr-10 21:50:35

Only the odd episode, I haven't followed it. I saw one where Don Draper was reading Frank O'Hara's Meditations in an Emergency, looking a bit hmm, which I guess is 50s meeting 60s kind of period.

Laugs Tue 27-Apr-10 21:52:15

Have you read anything else by Toibin by the way, or did you just pick Brooklyn up for this?

champagnesupernova Wed 28-Apr-10 23:28:34

I realised this afternoon that I had missed this and I so enjoyed the book. Hope we can pick up if Tilly gets the author on.
angry at self

elkiedee Fri 30-Apr-10 23:26:39

I've just realised that I forgot all about the discussion - I planned reading it, I read it very quickly and finished it several days early. I loved reading it. And then the discussion completely slipped my mind. DS2 wasn't well on Tuesday night, but he went to sleep much faster than normal and I might have been able to get down before the end of the discussion slot.

I was glad that she went back to Brooklyn - I really didn't like Jim much, and I think she would have had a more interesting life in the US. Despite the housewife image, I think she might have been able to continue working or to return at some point, and I think she would have been freer about how to live her life in the US.

Driftwood999 Mon 28-Feb-11 19:46:50


Driftwood999 Mon 28-Feb-11 19:48:55


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