Archive for April, 2010

Brooklyn: what did we think?

A Big Kiss To You All

I’m beginning to suspect that this blog may be cursed. I finally get back to book group and then I hit the biggest technology problem of my life, namely that my computer gets half-inched by some little bugger. It’s been quite a saga but I am now officially back, technologied up, online and raring to go.

So, onto Brooklyn. The consensus seemed to be a fairly muted thumbs up with most people agreeing that the book was beautifully written, evocative and moving but that “we preferred our books with a bit of grit” (as Anne- who couldn’t come to the group- said to me in an email). A lot of discussion concentrated on the character of Eilis, the extent we viewed her as an active or passive character and the effect this had on the narrative which was, of course, written in entirely her point of view. Many found her passivity hard to take but it was interesting to have the input of a few lapsed Catholics who confirmed that they found Eilis’ character entirely believable, so maybe our incredulity at her attitude is a sign of how far we’ve come rather than a flaw in the novel? We agreed that the novel was a fantastic evocation of being an outsider and the idea of “home” and a lot of us felt that this rang true. The end also caused a bit of controversy, some glad that Eilis made the decision and some finding it a bit unbelievable and “tacked on”. All summed up with a big shrug of the shoulders….

Despite this rather equivocal reaction, it was a lovely group and I was unbelievably excited to be back. A great chat about books and a conversation with Kelly about nipple tassels and giant bunny costumes (don’t ask…); it seems some things never change! I can’t wait to see you all next month. x

About the group

Sunderland Book Group meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 6pm at Holmeside Coffee in Sunderland.

If you would like more information about what the group is reading, please visit

April 2010
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