By Colm Toibin
“One of the main unforgettable characters in modern literature” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town eire within the difficult years following global battle . whilst an Irish priest from Brooklyn bargains to sponsor Eilis in the US, she makes a decision she needs to move, leaving her fragile mom and her charismatic sister behind. Eilis unearths paintings in a division shop on Fulton road, and whilst she least expects it, reveals love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his substantial Italian relatives, slowly wins her over with sufferer appeal. yet simply as Eilis starts off to fall in love, devastating information from eire threatens the promise of her destiny.
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Oh, you’ve come at the worst time now,” Miss Kelly said. “Just when we thought we would have a bit of peace. ” She inclined her head in the direction of the ladder. ” “Well, I just came to say that I’ll be going to America in about a month’s time,” Eilis said. ” Miss Kelly stood back from the counter. ” she asked. ” “No. Not at all. ” “Well, that’s lovely now. ” “I’ll be here on Sunday,” Eilis said. “Ah, no, we won’t be needing you at all. ” “No, you couldn’t. ” “Not here you can’t. So be off with you now.
And your sister,” Miss Kelly said. “I hear she’s great at the golf. So go home now like a good girl. ” Miss Kelly turned and began to walk slowly up the stairs. Eilis knew as she made her way home that her mother would indeed be happy that she had found some way of making money of her own, but that Rose would think working behind the counter of a grocery shop was not good enough for her. She wondered if Rose would say this to her directly. On her way home she stopped at the house of her best friend Nancy Byrne to find that their friend Annette O’Brien was also there.
I went into that shop once,” Rose said, “on my way home from mass and she served Mary Delahunt before me. I turned and walked out. And there was a smell of something. I can’t think what it was. She has a little slave, doesn’t she? ” “Her father was a nice enough man,” her mother said, “but she had no chance because her mother was, as I told you, Eilis, evil incarnate. I heard that when one of the maids got scalded she wouldn’t even let her go to the doctor. The mother had Nelly working there from the time she could walk.