by Erin K. | | 4 Comments | Tags:

Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club discussion of Brooklyn.

Hello! Were you able to make it through the first two parts this week? Did you feel like it’s a pretty easy-to-read story? For those who followed last month, do you feel like this book is easier to read than Inferno?

In this first section, we see Eilis as she tries to find a job and start a grown-up life in Ireland, and then quickly, we see her as she starts to prepare to go to the U.S. Were you taken aback that going to the U.S. wasn’t Eilis’s idea? It seemed like her mother and sister made all of the decisions for her. Were you surprised that Eilis was willing to go, even though she wasn’t responsible for any of the plans?

The part where Eilis is on the boat is really sad. Can you believe how mean her neighbors were to lock her out of the bathroom that first night? I was horrified by the fact that she was forced to use a bucket as a toilet, and she had to throw up in the hallway. That would be mortifying, I think. I was glad that her roommate was so sweet once she came back to the room. Having that roommate really changed the journey for Eilis.

In the second section, Eilis arrives in Brooklyn and starts her new job. It seemed like she was going to seamlessly transition into her new life, but then she experiences a horrible bout of homesickness. It was so good that everyone was kind to her and was willing to help her through her sadness. Father Flood seems like such a great man. I couldn’t believe that he even arranged some bookkeeping classes for her.

What did you think of Eilis’s first Christmas away from home? I thought it was nice that she was willing to serve in the church. I think that helped her not feel so alone.

So, what are your first impressions of Eilis? Don’t you think she is so brave? I can’t imagine going to a brand new country and trying to figure out everything. And, she doesn’t really know anyone—that would make things even harder!

Before you go, check out this sneak peek from the movie that features the aftermath of Eilis’s seasickness.

Make sure to read section three before you join us next week!

4 Responses to “Brooklyn, Week 2”

  1. Carrol

    I was able to read through the sections easily. What a contrast to Inferno. I was able to enjoy these sections of the book and not feel tense.

    I am really liking this book. I especially like Eilis. She really is brave to leave her home and move to America. I felt sorry for her when she was going across on the boat. She had no idea what she was going to experience. Wow! She really had to put her dignity aside to do what she had to do.

    Her homesickness was expected. I was glad she could focus on others at Christmas so she wouldn’t have time to think about her own family.

    I am looking forward to the next section. Hopefully, she will enjoy her classes and make more friends.

    • Erin K.

      I’m glad that you are enjoying the book, Carrol. It definitely is a less intense book than Inferno.

      I’m glad you like Eilis. I hope she keeps being a likeable character for you as you keep reading!

      Thanks for commenting! I can’t wait to hear what you think of the next section!

  2. Jane Engle

    Being straightforward and less complex than Inferno, this month’s book is much easier to read and comprehend. While this style of writing could be somewhat boring, so far I have found it is enjoyable and maintains my interest.

    Having been raised with her mother and sister, whom she both respected and loved, determining what was in her best interest and telling her what to do, I do not think Eilis would have ever thought it was possible to do anything different than what they chose for her. It did not matter what plans they made for her trip to the U.S. She trusted them completely and would deal with whatever she encountered without question.

    Her first night onboard the ship was just a small introduction to the reality of what coping with life on her own would be. Her roommate’s reaction, so well portrayed in the film clip you have provided, eased Eilis’ embarrassment and even allowed her to laugh by being able to get back at those who had locked her out of the bathroom.

    As Christmas approached and she was going to be away from her family for the first time, her feelings of homesickness would be expected. It was good she could spend the holiday helping out at the church and be around others who shared the day together.

    So far Eilis appears to be learning to deal with her new life situations in a very good manner. She and her family should be proud.

    • Erin K.

      Jane, I’m glad you are enjoying the book even though it moves at a much slower pace than Inferno.

      You’re right about her experience on the boat. It definitely helped her realize what life would be like on her own. I was so glad that her roommate was kind and tender to her.

      I think her mom should be proud of her, too.

      I hope you enjoy the next section! I hope to hear from you next week!

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