Study Guide

Brooklyn: A Novel Family

By Colm Tóibín

Family

No matter your background, there's one thing everyone shares in common—love (and the inevitable annoyance) for their family. Although Eilis Lacey's family isn't always the healthiest bunch around, they clearly love each other, which makes it a huge shock when Eilis decides to moves across the Atlantic Ocean to Brooklyn, New York.

In Brooklyn, Eilis adapts and thrives… but after a sudden family tragedy forces her to return home and take care of her mother, she's forced to look at her family in a different way than ever before. Are they her future, or only her past?

Questions About Family

  1. How does Eilis' family differ from Tony's family?
  2. What is the nature of Eilis' relationship with her mother?
  3. Why is Eilis so drawn to Frank?
  4. Is Eilis a good sister to Rose? Why or why not?

Chew on This

The differences between Eilis and Tony's families are related to the differences between Italian and Irish culture.

Eilis finds herself so drawn to Frank because he represents a potential future child with Tony.

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