We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
Brooklyn Audiobook

Brooklyn

Regular Price:£20.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

It is Ireland in the early 1950s and for Eilis Lacey, as for so many young Irish girls, opportunities are scarce. So when her sister arranges for her to emigrate to New York, Eilis knows she must go, leaving behind her family and her home for the first time.

Arriving in a crowded lodging house in Brooklyn, Eilis can only be reminded of what she has sacrificed. She is far from home - and homesick. And just as she takes tentative steps towards friendship, and perhaps something more, Eilis receives news which sends her back to Ireland. There she will be confronted by a terrible dilemma - a devastating choice between duty and one great love.

©2014 Colm Tóibín (P)2014 Penguin Books Limited

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (409 )
5 star
 (170)
4 star
 (141)
3 star
 (74)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (13)
Overall
4.0 (377 )
5 star
 (142)
4 star
 (131)
3 star
 (75)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (11)
Story
4.4 (374 )
5 star
 (225)
4 star
 (103)
3 star
 (38)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kate 11/06/2015
    Kate 11/06/2015

    KateOCP

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Irishwoman abroad"

    Beautifully narrated. I found it hard to stop listening to it. Transported to an earlier time when life was lived at a slower pace, even in New York. But the problems of relationships remain the same whatever the era. I came to this novel via Norah Webster, his latest, and was interested to find mention of her in this. Would love a further instalment of this very Irish community.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Serck Berkshire, England 15/11/2015
    L. Serck Berkshire, England 15/11/2015 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful book that has come to life"

    Loved this book, a great story, a romance with grit. The book is brought to life by the mellifluous Irish lilt of the narrator.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny Rutter 10/11/2015
    Jenny Rutter 10/11/2015 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully written and sensitively read"

    Another Colm Toibin classic.
    Listen, relax and enjoy. A gently paced tale of first love, homesickness and growing up.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David New Ross, Ireland 25/12/2015
    David New Ross, Ireland 25/12/2015 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptional"

    This is an exceptional book full of well draw characters and the intrigue and difficult choices that accompanies life.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vivien Lyle Ramsgate England 23/11/2015
    Vivien Lyle Ramsgate England 23/11/2015 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brooklyn Audible"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Narration was spot on and I loved the characters. The disappointment was the premature ending. So sudden.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cian 05/11/2015
    Cian 05/11/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    110
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nostalgic easy read"

    This is the second book I have read by Colm Toibin having previously read and loved Nora Webster.
    The narrative by Niamh Cusack was wonderful enhancing the experience.
    This one was recommended by a friend and with the film coming out I wanted to read the book first.
    The language used is quite sparse yet emotional and evocative. Tobin describes the surroundings wonderfully, discussing past lives with its relevance to the present. He describes the dynamics of family life from an emotional and personal perspective.
    This book was set in the 1950’s. Eilis Lacey is the youngest in her family working in a local shop without prospects of advancement in a small Irish community. I loved hearing of Mrs Kelly and how she decided who to favour with her tomatoes and other goods. Her father is deceased. Ellis has brothers who emigrated to the UK. She lives with her mother and older sister Rose who is confident and outgoing. They seem to be managing financially but money was tight enough.
    Eilis’ family decide she should go to the USA and Eilis goes along with it. She is sponsored by a local priest Fr Flood. Her time in Liverpool with her brother shows how the Irish were treated there at that time and how being shouted at for being Irish in the street was accepted.
    Once in America Ellis works in a department store in Brooklyn, while living in a boarding house with other Irish emigrants who have surprisingly old fashioned outlooks on the world. This is shown parallel with Eilis experiencing different races, colours, and cultures. The weather is also vastly different and Eilis tries to acclimatise herself to this
    This is a totally different world from Ireland with the heating kept on all night. In Ireland at the time many people had no heating and it would have been used sparingly by most if they had. I really ‘felt’ for Eilis with her homesickness. I have personal experience of this and really felt it was true to reality.
    Ellis thrives in her work setting and as well as starting a relationship with Tony an Italian American.
    Ellis seems to be somewhat lacking in initiative to decide her own destiny as it was her family’s decision that she should go to America and it is Fr Flood’s decision to enrol her in evening classes. He sets it all up including the funding so all she has to do is turn up. However once a path has been decided Eilis applies herself and works to her best capacity to move forward.
    She passes her exams with good grades. Gradually this sense of freedom and realisation of her personal abilities begins to change Eilis into a confident woman.
    Social issues of the time are presented to the reader for example the violence and rivalry between the Irish and Italian areas in New York, African Americans evolving in white society, lesbianism and the treatment of the Jewish community in Europe during the Second World War
    The novel moves at an easy steady pace. The structure and language of the novel allows the reader to sit with Eilis in her world thinking their own thoughts accordingly. This novel is uncomplicated but is wonderful in that way. The characters appear realistic and real, the emotions are heartfelt.
    Then tragic events necessitate Eilis’ return to Ireland which is now somewhat alien to her. While family and friends are aware of the change in her Eilis sees her new found confidence being eroded. Ellis again is unsure of her place in the world or her destiny. The importance of family and their bond is portrayed through small things like the writing of letters and the togetherness of sorting through clothing together. Tobin portrays Eilis as a ‘real’ person. She works well but obviously as her life choices have been made by others up to now she finds it difficult to decide her future and does tend to let things drift and take the easy option. This is annoying and frustrating at times especially at the end of the book. Ellis is ultimately quite a selfish person considering herself before others. Ultimately Ellis’ fate is decided by events outside her control. The lead up to this decision is subtle and as such surprised and held my interest. The end comment by Eilis is very telling and insightful and is ultimately true. This book has won awards and is now a film. I think it deserves it all and it stays with me even after the final page is read.
    I would highly recommend it.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire 04/11/2015
    Claire 04/11/2015 Member Since 2016

    Eclectic taste in audiobooks, particular thirst to discover Classics I'd otherwise never get around to reading in physical book format!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Departing, yearning, learning, regret"
    What made the experience of listening to Brooklyn the most enjoyable?

    Niamh Cusack reads it beautifully, and I love Colm Toibin's gentle, understated writing. The perspective draws you in and provokes much discussion and consideration.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Brooklyn?

    Elis' outward journey to New York from Liverpool, and eating in an empty restaurant because all the other passengers knew about the rough seas, while she became horrifically seasick (all the more for the food she'd consumed). What a nightmare journey in third class, hard to imagine how anybody coped in those conditions - and how crafty were those who'd made the journey before.


    Which character – as performed by Niamh Cusack – was your favourite?

    I loved her performance of the lady who runs the shop Elis worked in for a while - brilliantly captured haughty busybody. All the characters were brought to life in entertaining and riveting fashion.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was easy to get caught up in Elis' story, her loneliness, fears and her foreboding - the restrictions placed on her owing to her gender and upbringing: she never quite seems to feel settled or at ease, and you sense she will live her whole life that way.


    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs C Garstang 08/05/2015
    Mrs C Garstang 08/05/2015 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully read"
    Would you listen to Brooklyn again? Why?

    Yes. I loved the story and it was beautifully read. The combination made it a great accompaniment to my daily commute.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the fact that there was some historical relevance and an insight into what young people in Ireland had to do to find work.


    Have you listened to any of Niamh Cusack’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will certainly look out for more.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There were a couple of times that I did exclaim out loud!


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NicolaPie 26/12/2015
    NicolaPie 26/12/2015 Member Since 2015

    Reading amuses me.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well done"

    Well written and beautifully read. Though the end will take time to accept, as I am not sure if I can accept it. Hmm.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ceris UK 25/10/2016
    Ceris UK 25/10/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very gentile and captivating listen"
    Would you listen to Brooklyn again? Why?

    I possibly would in the future as it's a nice easy listen. The characters are easy to picture and it's an interesting insight to that period in time.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Brooklyn?

    I enjoyed the description of the journey over to America and found a lot of the detail quite amusing.


    What about Niamh Cusack’s performance did you like?

    I thought the accents were good and it was easy to pick up and follow different characters


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was a very homely feeling book even though it's based around the main character being so far from her home. I found the story relatable and the characters very believable and engaging.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • GEIB CATALINA
    12/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An enticing love story with a disappointing end"

    I loved this audio book from beginning to..well the penultimate chapter. This is more in relation to the story itself and not at all about the performance of the speaker whom I have found superb!! I would recommend it simply for that already!
    Sadly the storyline seems to drift - it's an unsatisfactory ending leaving us "hanging" - Alish was portrayed as the good girl and turned out to be not so nice and less principled after all - which is not only disappointing but also rather puzzling as I had thought that her character development had already reached its peak - but maybe I just believe that every good book should have an even better ending. And that was not the case here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.