Buy this Book

Long Island

This book is so beautifully written that it rearranged my insides. Tóibín is so skilled at the subtleties that build a character that I read with awe and joy. This novel, a sequel to his previous book Brooklyn (though it's not necessary to have read it), starts with a jaw-dropping scene.

Eilis lives with her husband, Tony, and their two children and is flanked (i.e., suffocated) by his Italian-American family in Long Island. A man she has never seen before shows up at her doorstep and informs her that her husband, a plumber, had been doing work at his house and, along with fixing the plumbing, has impregnated his wife. Furthermore, he came to share the news that when the baby is born, he will walk straight to their house, and if no one answers, he will leave it on the doorstep. As if this wasn’t enough of a betrayal, she parses out that all her in-laws already know this and have made a plan without considering her wishes. This creates the perfect opportunity for Eilis to return to Ireland in time to celebrate her mother's 80th birthday.

If that doesn’t hook you, it’s also an Oprah pick, and I hope another movie will be made with the gorgeous Saoirse Ronan as Eilis. I could not have loved this book more!