This book hooked me right away; however, the more I read, the less I liked it. Eilis, the main character, seems to sleepwalk through life, unaware of or unconcerned by the ramifications of both her actions and her inactions! By the end of the book, her thoughtlessness and lack of honor had negated any empathy I might have had for her.
The author, Colm Tóibín, never achieves what one editorial review claims -- ... "a renewed understanding that to emigrate is to become a foreigner in two places at once." Nor does he evoke what the Washington Post review "the deep homesickness..." of Irish immigrants. Frankly, the main character, Eilis, never seems to care that much about home or Brooklyn. She seems to simply let things happen rather than accept responsibility and take action. Her lack of concern for everyone in her life -- family, friends, boy friends, employers, landlord, priest -- is appalling.