One of the great things about a film like Brooklyn is that it resonates with people from all walks of life. We've heard stories from fans all over the world who relate to Eilis' journey -- and now we would love to hear yours. Share a photo and story from your family's history and use #HomeIsHome for a chance to be featured on our social channels!
Here's a story from Anne Marie Sheery who reached out to Nick Hornby to share her mother's journey:
I attended the screening of Brooklyn last night and I had hoped I could ask you a question at the end, honestly, I had bawled my way through the movie - so I didn't trust myself to be coherent.
The film is a triumph, it is a rare experience when you see the awaited movie after reading the book and feel dazzled by it, I will be thinking about this for weeks, as I was after reading the book. This is a major credit to you, for the adaptation. It was so sensitive to the novel and just perfect. Beautiful. In fact all the elements, acting, story, direction, editing have come together in such a perfect way! A rare thing, so it must have been an amazing project to work on for all involved.
I read the novel twice, once myself and once for my mam (not mummy, no, we would never call her that, Saoirse is right) My mam had a stroke a few years earlier and I wanted to read it to her because like Eilis, she had travelled to NYC in the early fifties on a liner from Cobh. Unlike Eilis's story, mam returned two and a half years later to marry my dad. They had met before she left and they courted by letter across the atlantic. My Dad must have had a Frankie hidden away somewhere because he can't spell to save his life! Anyway, she returned with her two trunks of clothes, a big success story, she later said she couldn't wear the NY fashion on the streets of Naas for fear of jealous women jibing at her. There was a moment of this in the movie when Eilis had returned to Enniscorthy wearing the sunglasses.
My mam enjoyed me reading Brooklyn to her but there were days where she would say "enough now, I'm tired, Lovey" She died in 2011 but if she had seen it, she would have loved it, she would probably say "The boat wasn't like that, it was great fun on the boat, the food was lovely and there was a cinema on the boat."
When my parents argued over the years, my mother would exclaim how she should have stayed in America and married the french diplomat and not returned to marry that," (pointing to my dad scratching his head like Homer Simpson watching the TV). She was torn all her life as unlike most, she did return. She said her mother having a hold over her, being the main reason. But, she obviously held a special place for "Homer" in her heart. I often wander what would have happened to Moira, my mam, if she had stayed. Which brings me to the question I wished I had asked last night at the Barbican, "Is there talk of a follow up or sequel" I would love to know how Eilis's life panned out..as many would.
The small mindedness in Ireland "This feckin' Island" as my mother referred to it, always irritated at her, interestingly, this was what made Eilis' mind up to return back to the State. My mam's name was Moira Sheehy and this is a picture of her taken in 1954…she worked for New York life insurance down town, what a gal.
And here's a story from Brooklynproducer Finola Dwyer:
Brooklyn producer Finola Dwyer was drawn to Colm Toibin's novel as Eilis's story mirrored her mothers;Clare Dwyer nee Rooney married in Ireland and moved to NZ in 1951 after honeymooning In London and Rome with her husband Richard 'Dicky' Dwyer - once in Wellington, NZ she missed Ireland desperately and lived for news of 'home.'
Finola's mother Clare Dwyer (nee Rooney) returning to NZ in 1955 after a trip to her homeland, Ireland. Finola's father met and married Clare in 1951 in Dublin and bought her out to NZ, but had promised her they would return to Ireland for a visit in 1955, she had hoped they would stay in Ireland, she never saw her mother agai.