forty-six

Read IN BED: Brooklyn

Words & Images by Hannah-Rose Yee

"Eilis loved her room, loved putting her books at the table opposite the window when she came in at night and then getting into her pyjamas and the dressing gown she had bought in one of the sales and her warm slippers and spending an hour or more before she went to bed looking over the lecture notes and then rereading the manuals on bookkeeping and accounting she had bought." -__Colm Toibin, Brooklyn This is a small story, that of a boy and a girl, and it's a beautiful one. Eilis is just an ordinary shopgirl, slaving away in the country in Ireland, until her widowed mother and sister send her to America for a better life. There, she lives in Brooklyn (it sounds like Carroll Gardens, from what I can glean from the street names), sampling such exotic things as nylon stockings, Friday night dances and permanent heating. It's at one of those dances that Eilis meets Tony, an Italian boy with slicked back hair and a roguish grin and a heart of gold. But the story doesn't end there ___ Eilis is shipped back to Ireland when tragedy strikes in her family, and she has to choose between her old life and the new. This book is just charming, and it's about to become a very good movie, starting Saiorse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson, so now is as good a time as any to read this book. It moves slowly, simply, the kind of book that seems to be going nowhere, until suddenly you've fallen so deeply in love with the characters that they feel so familiar, like you can predict their behaviour. One for lazy weekend reading.