Brooklyn: A Novel, by Colm Toibin. This story of Eilis Lacey immigrating to America is related in clear prose and in a fairly distant narrative voice, which nonetheless shows great flexibility in creating the protagonist’s inner and outer world. The novel begins quietly but becomes a compulsive, riveting read, continually raising the stakes and enmeshing the reader further into Eilis’ complex personality and world view. An excellent example of how to weave historical detail into narrative, maintaining the focus on the central character’s thoughts and perceptions while bringing in the wider world in a subtle and story-centred way.
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