Genre: Fiction; Author: Colm Toibin; Publisher: Scribner

After Eilis Lacey trades her humble beginnings in small-town Ireland for bustling 1950s Brooklyn, she grapples with the stark differences until she meets Tony, an outgoing young Italian man from a big family who opens the city, and his heart, to her. After the two embark on a romance, some distressing news from back home forces her to choose between the promise of a future with Tony and a return to her roots. Colm Tóibín’s tributes to old New York, both in landscape and disposition, beautifully reflect on a time past, but it’s Eilis’ universal struggles with matters of the heart that make this novel such a moving, deeply satisfying read. B+

Originally posted May 6 2009 — 12:00 AM EDT

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