Let’s read “Brooklyn” by Colm Tóibín

For our first Casual Book Club*, we'll be reading Colm Tóibín's Brooklyn, which is available everywhere.** Here's the blurb from amazon.com ($10.20 + taxes and shipping):

Committed to a quiet life in little Enniscorthy, Ireland, the industrious young Eilis Lacey reluctantly finds herself swept up in an unplanned adventure to America, engineered by the family priest and her glamorous, "ready for life" sister, Rose. Eilis's determination to embrace the spirit of the journey despite her trepidation—especially on behalf of Rose, who has sacrificed her own chance of leaving—makes a bittersweet center for Brooklyn. Colm Tóibín's spare portrayal of this contemplative girl is achingly lovely, and every sentence rings with truth. Readers will find themselves swept across the Atlantic with Eilis to a boarding house in Brooklyn where she painstakingly adapts to a new life, reinventing herself and her surroundings in the letters she writes home. Just as she begins to settle in with the help of a new love, tragedy calls her home to Enniscorthy, and her separate lives suddenly and painfully merge into one. Tóibín's haunted heroine glows on the page, unforgettably and lovingly rendered, and her story reflects the lives of so many others exiled from home. —Daphne Durham

I'll give you until Wednesday, 3/31, to buy the book and read the first chapter (it's not a long book, and I don't want this to get lost over Easter). After that, we'll see what kind of timeframe works best: a chapter check-in each week, or a final report sometime in April. Later this week I'll post some "tips for reading" or stuff to consider while you read, but that's all optional.

*When I say "casual," I really mean it. I'm not looking for dissertations or hardcore analysis of theme or character or philosophy or structure (though if somebody has that to offer, by all means). If all you want to say is "I loved it," or "I hated it," that's fine, too. Although I trust you'll have some thoughtful reasoning to back it up, because I intend for this to be a conversation, in which you, as grownups with minds who agree to participate, are expected to take part.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments here. Looking forward to reading with you, friends!

** I cannot confirm this, so you are on your own. But I assure you it's not an obscure title, so any Borders or B&N should have it in stock. Or Wal-Mart, if you're lucky.