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Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
In Brooklyn, Eilis Lacey is a young woman in the 1950s looking forward to a predictable life in her Irish town. Her older sister and parish priest arrange for her to emigrate to the U.S. and she agrees despite her inner reluctance. She arrives in Brooklyn and gets a job and a room arranged by the church. Despite being homesick, she eventually begins to fashion a satisfactory life and even falls in love with an Italian man. A family tragedy, though, forces her to leave her love behind and return to Ireland. Once back home, she finds she must choose between new opportunities that have arisen there, or return to Brooklyn. Colm Toibin's novel has received positive reviews with the Christian Science Monitor saying, "The ending of Brooklyn is a masterpiece of quiet reflection, bringing up deep emotions submerged under the placid exterior and giving the novel an ache that will linger for days.