From Pages to Screen · Reviews

“Brooklyn” by Colm Tóibín

“She almost smiled at the thought of it, then closed her eyes and tried to imagine nothing more.”

I must confess I was expecting Brooklyn to find its strength in the emotional roots of homesickness. Instead, I found myself reading a book that stayed true to its main character till the very end, closing its eyes and imagining no more.

I believe it’s no coincidence that the only time emotion seems to deliberately reach out to touch the reader’s heart is when Eilis herself becomes so overwhelmed that it starts to show. It’s as if by allowing herself to feel, for her pain to reach the surface and find the attentive eyes of some of the other characters, she’s authorizing the narrator to let us in as well. This voice, the one telling the story, seems to have a soft spot for Eilis, respecting her privacy, even though she’s the main character. I don’t know whether that was intended or not, but it comes across as beautifully romantic. The narrator tells this story with such dedication, such devotion…

“Some people are nice and if you talk to them properly, they can be even nicer.”

I found the writing style to be as quiet as Eilis while living with Rose and their mother. Almost invisible. However, the story seems to flow as easily as Eilis seems to navigate the world. There are up and downs, of course, motion sickness, homesickness and even grief… But otherwise, it’s the routine that brings the familiarity to a place before unknown.

All in all, I quite enjoyed Brooklyn. Having just returned from spending a couple of months abroad myself, I understand where she’s coming from. The seeming lack of emotion makes sense when you are out there and you feel like if you say it out loud it will become exceedingly true, eventually suffocating you.

I believe this book will work perfectly as a film. Visually stunning, most definitely. And Eilis played by the extraordinarily talented Saoirse Ronan! Must watch this one before the Oscars.

Este post será traduzido em breve. Dieser Post wird in Kürze übersetzt.


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