Study Guide

Brooklyn: A Novel The Home

By Colm Tóibín

The Home

It's easy to get homesick when you're an ocean away from everyone and everything you've ever known and loved. After moving to Brooklyn, New York, young Eilis Lacey feels like a tiny, Irish fish in a gigantic, American sea. In other words, she misses her home.

As she struggles with these feelings of homesickness, she also begins to adapt to life in America, meeting a new boy-toy and moving up in the rank in her job. Now Brooklyn feels like home. But when a family tragedy forces her to return to Ireland's craggy shores, however, Eilis is forced to choose which place is her home once and for all.

Questions About The Home

  1. Does Eilis feel comfortable in her house in Ireland? How does that change after Rose's death?
  2. Does Eilis like Mrs. Kehoe's boarding house? Explain.
  3. Which is Eilis' home at the end of the novel: Brooklyn or Ireland?
  4. How does the concept of family relate to the concept of home in the novel?

Chew on This

Eilis' decision to return to Brooklyn, even though it's foisted upon her, shows that she sees Brooklyn as her home, and Ireland as her past.

Eilis doesn't truly feel comfortable in Brooklyn until she makes her room into a homey space.

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