by Erin K. | | 4 Comments | Tags:

Welcome to our fourth and final discussion of Brooklynthe Online Book Club selection for September.

Were you at all surprised by the way that Eilis’s trip home went? Did you think that she would be able to not mention Tony and fall back in with her old crowd? Were you surprised that she was able to have feelings for Jim so soon after leaving Tony?

Throughout the whole last section, I felt so bad for Eilis’s mother. I could tell that she was lost and lonely without any of her children at home. But, I didn’t want her feelings of loneliness to affect Eilis’s ability to stay true to her husband.

Did you feel sorry for Jim? He seemed like a really nice guy, and he seemed like someone who would take care of Eilis. But she had a responsibility to come back to Tony, so I knew it wouldn’t work for her to stay with Jim. Still, do you think Jim felt completely blindsided once he realized that Eilis went back home? Do you think Eilis told him that she had a husband waiting for her?

I kind of wished that the book ended with a reunion between Tony and Eilis, but I understood why Toibin left the book pretty ambiguous.

I am always pretty curious to know what authors think of the movie adaptations of their books. If you’re curious to know what Tóibín thought of the movie, check out this clip.

Make sure to tell everyone what you thought of the book—and the movie, if you end up watching it. I really enjoyed the book this month, and I hope you did, too!

I also hope you’ll join us next month. We’ll be reading The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. Just to warn you, this book is a tear-jerker, so make sure you stock up on tissues before you start reading!

4 Responses to “Brooklyn, Week 4”

  1. Carrol

    I was really surprised by Eilis’s behavior in this last section. I kept thinking she would keep her distance from Jim, so I was disappointed when she allowed herself to form an emotional attachment to him. I kept wanting her to be open and honest with everyone about .Tony.

    I, too, felt so sorry for her mother. It was clear she had some specific thoughts about what Eilis should do. I would like to think that her mother will go live with Tony and Eilis in America.

    Thanks for the video clip. It was obvious that Toibin was very pleased with the movie. It was interesting to hear about his personal connections to the book.

    I really enjoyed this book. I also really enjoyed the movie. Thanks for guiding us through another good book.

    • Erin K.

      Carrol, I totally agree with your thoughts about Eilis, Jim, and Eilis’s mother. I felt like I could understand why each was acting the way they were acting, but I didn’t agree with all of their actions. I didn’t want anyone to get hurt, but I knew that they all would get hurt in the end.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the Toibin clip!

      Thanks for being such an enthusiastic follower! I’m glad you enjoyed the book. Be prepared for next month–you’ll really need your tissues!

  2. Jane Engle

    As a “good” Irish Catholic girl, I was not surprised that Eilis did her best to maintain what she thought people back home expected of her. Having married Tony in the manner she did would have required an explanation that was too difficult for her to give. Not wanting to do anything she thought might disappoint others, she walked a fine line that allowed her to not outright lie but also not tell the whole truth either.

    Instead of returning to the States as first planned, Eilis set herself up for additional problems in the future. Being around Nancy and George with only Jim was something she could and should have stopped after the first time. Agreeing to repeat the outing the following Sunday was wrong on Eilis’s part.

    By convincing herself she was on holiday and nothing would come of it, Eilis led Jim on. It was easier to not face the reality of what she was doing. When she finally did, Eilis knew she had to leave immediately. Believing that seeing Jim would achieve nothing, I am certain she never told him about Tony. Instead she took the easy way out and wrote Jim a letter for her mother to give him. I cannot help but think that Jim was blindsided and treated in an extremely poor manner.

    Having read next month’s selection as a part of another book club in which I participated, I will wait for a future time to join in discussion again.

    • Erin K.

      Jane, I totally agree with your assessment of Eilis. She wasn’t acting very smart when she agreed to keep spending time with Jim. She really led him on and hurt him a lot when she left. I wanted her to stay true to Tony, but not at the expense of Jim and his feelings.

      Thanks for commenting so faithfully this month! I’ll miss hearing from you next month!

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