[Quick Summary: Eilis is a 1950s young Irish immigrant who is torn between New York and Ireland.]
What a lovely, lovely read!
I loved the quiet drama of heartache and homesickness.
I especially loved watching Eilis and Tony fall in love.
This kind of romance is a dying art in a world where it's so easy to hide behind electronics and pretending rejection doesn't exist.
Romance requires connection, which requires possible rejection and risks.
The scene below is probably the midpoint of their romance, where they're "bound together...and has further implications for the outcome of the relationship." (p. 113; Mernit)
Note the bold emotional risks:
- Tony puts himself out there for rejection.
- Eilis takes a chance on a guy with a much bigger home field advantage.
ex. "TONY: You're in a good mood, right?
She looks at him.
EILIS: Yes. Why?
TONY: It's just...I like how you're being, I don't know the word. When you go along with everything.
TONY (delighted with this addition to his vocabulary): Yeah. Amenable. OK, so while you're being amenable..Can we go see a movie this week? When you're not at night classes? And if the date goes well, can we see a movie next week too?
EILIS: I'll sign up for two movies.
EILIS: Yes. Even if the first date is a disaster, I'll give it another chance.
Tony's smile couldn't be any broader."
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Lacking romance? Try larger emotional risks.
by Nick Hornby
Adapted from the novel by Colm Toibin