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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 demanding years following international warfare . while an Irish priest from Brooklyn deals to sponsor Eilis in the USA, she comes to a decision she needs to pass, leaving her fragile mom and her charismatic sister behind. Eilis unearths paintings in a division shop on Fulton road, and while she least expects it, reveals love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his vast Italian relations, slowly wins her over with sufferer allure. yet simply as Eilis starts to fall in love, devastating information from eire threatens the promise of her destiny.

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Murphy. ” It was like this until almost one o’clock. There was no break and nothing to eat or drink and Eilis was starving. No one was served in turn. Miss Kelly informed some of her customers, including two who, being friends of Rose, greeted Eilis familiarly, that she had lovely fresh tomatoes. She weighed them herself, seeming to be impressed that Eilis knew these customers, telling others firmly, however, that she had no tomatoes that day, none at all. For favoured customers she openly, almost proudly, produced the fresh bread.

People who wanted cigarettes and sweets seemed to know to approach Mary. Miss Kelly stood back, her attention divided between the door and Eilis. She checked every price Eilis wrote down, informed her briskly of the price when she could not remember, and wrote down and added up the figures herself after Eilis had done so, not letting her give the customer the change until she had also been shown the original payment. As well as doing this, she greeted certain customers by name, motioning them forward and insisting that Eilis break off whatever she was doing to serve them.

Even going to work in a shop in Brooklyn with lodgings a few streets away, all organized by a priest, had an element of romance that she and Rose were fully alert to as they ordered their lunch in the Gresham, having left her luggage in the railway station. Going to work in a shop in Birmingham or Liverpool or Coventry or even London was sheer dullness compared to this. Rose had dressed up beautifully for the day, and Eilis had tried to look as well as she could. Rose, merely by smiling at the hotel porter, seemed to be able to make him stand in O’Connell Street to get a taxi for them, insisting that they wait in the lobby.

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