Homesick and Happy in Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn

By Sue Norton

Colm Tóibín’s novel Brooklyn operates, like so much of modern fiction, on planes of moral ambiguity and relativism.  Few clearly correct options present themselves to the central character who maintains our sympathy because of the emotionally fraught situation in which she finds herself.  But unlike so much modern fiction, Brooklyn offers a potential way forward, an exit strategy from the perpetual regret and reconsideration brought on by most moral and emotional conundrum.  It is, in its artfully fictitious way, as therapeutic as a really good self-help book.  As someone who ...

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