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Brooklyn - Colm Toibin, скачати книгу безкоштовно

Toibin Colm

Жанр: Сучасна проза

It is Enniscorthy in the southeast of Ireland in the early 1950s. Eilis Lacey is one among many of her generation who can not find work at home. Thus when a job is offered in America, it is clear to everyone that she must go. Leaving her family and country, Eilis heads for unfamiliar Brooklyn, and to a crowded boarding house where the landlady's intense scrutiny and the small jealousies of her fellow residents only deepen her isolation.

Slowly, however, the pain of parting is buried beneath the rhythms of her new life - until she begins to realize that she has found a sort of happiness. As she falls in love, news comes from home that forces her back to Enniscorthy, not to the constrictions of her old life, but to new possibilities which conflict deeply with the life she has left behind in Brooklyn.

In the quiet character of Eilis Lacey, Colm Toibin has created one of fiction's most memorable heroines and in Brooklyn, a luminous novel of devastating power. Toibin demonstrates once again his astonishing range and that he is a true master of nuanced prose, emotional depth, and narrative virtuosity.

First published in 2009

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Brooklyn-Colm Toibin Сторінка 29 - Читати онлайн.

Brooklyn to her again, including Dolores herself, who viewed being ditched, since it had resulted in Eilis meeting a man, as eminently reasonable. In return for this view, Dolores wanted only to know about the boyfriend himself, his name, for example, and his occupation, and when Eilis intended to see him again. All of the other lodgers had scrutinized him carefully as well ; they thought him handsome, they said, although Miss McAdam might have wished him taller, and Patty did not like his shoes. All of them presumed that he was Irish, or of Irish origin, and all of them begged Eilis to tell them about him, what he had said to her that made her dance the second set with him and if she was going to the dance the following Friday night and if she expected to see him there.

 The following Thursday evening, when she went downstairs to make herself a cup of tea, she met Mrs. Kehoe in the kitchen.

 "There's a lot of giddiness in the house at the moment," Mrs. Kehoe said. "That Diana has a terrible voice, God help her. If she squeals once more, I'll have to get the doctor or the vet to give her something to calm her down."

 "It's the dancing is doing it to them," Eilis said drily.

 "Well, I'm going to ask Father Flood to preach a sermon on the evils of giddiness," Mrs. Kehoe said. "And maybe he might mention a few more things in his sermon."

 Mrs. Kehoe left the room.

 On Friday evening at eight thirty Tony rang on the front door bell, and, before Eilis could escape from the basement door and alert him to the impending danger, the door was answered by Mrs. Kehoe. By the time Eilis reached the front door, as Tony told her later, Mrs. Kehoe had asked him several questions, including his full name, his address and his profession.

 "That's what she called it," he said. "My profession."

 He grinned as though nothing as amusing had ever occurred to him in his life.

 "Is she your mom?" he asked.

 "I told you that my mom, as you call her, is in Ireland."

 "So you did, but that woman looked like she owned you."

 "She's my landlady."

 "She's a lady all right. A lady with loads of questions to ask."

 "And, incidentally, what is your full name?"

 "You want what I told your mom?"

 "She's not my mom."

 "You want my real name?"

 "Yes, I want your real name."

 "My real full name is Antonio Giuseppe Fiorello."

 "What name did you give my landlady when she asked you?"

 "I told her my name is Tony McGrath. Because there's a guy at work called Billo McGrath."

 "Oh, for God's sake. And what did you tell her your profession was?"

 "My real one?"

 "If you do not answer me properly-"

 "I told her I'm a plumber and that's because I am."

 "Tony?"

 "Yeah?"

 "In future, if I ever allow you to call again, you will come quietly to the basement door."

 "And say nothing to no one?"

 "Correct."

 "Suits me."

 He took her to a diner where they had supper and then they walked together towards the dancehall. She told him about her fellow lodgers and her job at Bartocci's. He told her, in turn, that he was the oldest of four boys and that he still lived at home in Bensonhurst with his parents.

 "And my mom made me promise not to laugh too much, or make jokes," he said. "She said Irish girls are not like Italian girls. They're serious."

 "You told your mom you were meeting me?"

 "No, but my brother guessed that I was meeting a girl and he told her. I think they all guessed. I think I was smiling too much. And I had to tell them it was an Irish girl in case they thought it was some family they knew. "

 Eilis could not understand him. By the end of the night as he walked her home she knew only that she liked dancing close to him and that he was funny. But she would not have been surprised if everything he told her was untrue, instead just part of the joke he made out of most things or, in fact, she decided in the days that followed when she went over all he had said, out of everything.

 In the house there was much discussion about her boyfriend the plumber. She told them, once Mrs. Kehoe had left the room, once Patty and Diana began to wonder why none of their friends had ever seen him before, that Tony was Italian and not Irish. She had made a point of not introducing him to any of them at the dance and now regretted, as the conversation began, that she had said anything at all about him.

 "I hope that dancehall is not going to be inundated with Italians now," Miss McAdam said.

 "What do you mean?" Eilis asked.

 "Now they realize what is to be had."

 The others were silent for a moment. It was after supper on the Friday night and Eilis wished that Mrs. Kehoe, who had left the room some time before, would return.

 "And what is to be had?" she asked.

 "That's all they have to do, it seems." Miss McAdam snapped her finger. "I do not have to say the rest."

 "I think we have to be very careful about men we do not know coming into the hall," Sheila Heffernan said.

 "Maybe if we got rid of some of the wallflowers, Sheila," Eilis said, "with the sour look on their faces."

 Diana began to shriek with laughter as Sheila Heffernan quickly left the room.

 Suddenly Mrs. Kehoe arrived back in the kitchen.

 "Diana, if I hear you squeal again," she said, "I will call the Fire Brigade to douse you with water. Did someone say something rude to Miss Heffernan?"

 "We were giving Eilis here advice, that's all," Miss McAdam said. "Just to beware of strangers."

 "Well, I thought he was very nice, her caller," Mrs. Kehoe said. "With nice old-fashioned Irish manners. And we will have no further comment about him in this house. Do you hear, Miss McAdam?"

 "I was only saying-"

 "You were only refusing to mind your own business, Miss McAdam. It's a trait I notice in people from Northern Ireland."

 As Diana shrieked again she put her hand over her mouth in mock shame.

 "I'll have no more talk about men at this table," Mrs. Kehoe said, "except to say to you, Diana, that the man that gets you will be nicely hoped up with you. The hard knocks that life gives you will put a sorry end to that smirk on your face."

 One by one they crept out of the kitchen, leaving Mrs. Kehoe with Dolores.

 Tony asked Eilis if she would come to a movie with him some night in the middle of the week. In everything she had told him she had left out the fact that she had classes at Brooklyn College. He had not asked her what she did every evening, and she had kept it to herself almost deliberately as a way of holding him at a distance. She had enjoyed being collected by him on a Friday night at Mrs. Kehoe's up to now, and she looked forward to his company, especially in the diner before the dance. He was bright and funny as he spoke about baseball, his brothers, his work and life in Brooklyn. He had quickly learned the names of her fellow lodgers and of her bosses at work and he managed to allude to them regularly in a way that made her laugh.

 "Why did not you tell me about the college?" he asked her as they sat in the diner before the dance.

 "You did not ask."

 "I do not have anything more to tell you." He shrugged, feigning depression.

 "No secrets?"

 "I could make up some, but they would not sound true."

 "Mrs. Kehoe believes that you're Irish. And you could be a native of Tipperary for all I know and just be putting on the rest. How come I met you at an Irish dance?"

 "Okay.

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 "She told me the whole thing. The world, as the man says, is a very small place."

 Eilis knew from the gloating expression on Miss Kelly's face that she herself had not been able to disguise her alarm. A shiver went through her as she wondered if Tony had come to see Mrs. Kehoe and told her of their wedding. Instantly, she thought this unlikely. More likely, she reasoned, was that someone in the queue that day in City Hall had recognized her or Tony, or seen their names, and passed the news on to Mrs. Kehoe or one of her cronies.

 She stood up. "Is that all you have to say, Miss Kelly?"

 "It is, but I'll be phoning Madge again and I'll tell her I met you. How is your mother?"

 "She's very well, Miss Kelly."

 Eilis was shaking.

 "I saw you after that Byrne one's wedding getting into the car with Jim Farrell. Your mother looked well. I had not seen her for a while but I thought she looked well."

 "She'll be glad to hear that," Eilis said.

 "Oh, now, I'm sure," Miss Kelly replied.

 "So is that all, Miss Kelly?"

 "It is," Miss Kelly said and smiled grimly at her as she stood up. "Except do not forget your umbrella."

 On the street, Eilis searched in her handbag and found she had the letter from the shipping company with the number to call to reserve a place on the liner. In the Market Square she stopped at Godfrey's and bought some notepaper and envelopes. She walked along Castle Street and down Castle Hill to the post office. At the desk, she gave them the number she wished to phone and they told her to wait in the kiosk in the corner of the office. When the phone rang, she lifted the receiver and gave her name and details to the shipping company clerk, who found her file and told her that the earliest possible sailing from Cobh to New York was Friday, the day after tomorrow, and he could, if that suited her, reserve a place for her in third class at no extra charge. Once she agreed, he gave her the time of the sailing and the planned date of arrival and she hung up.

 Having paid for the phone call, she asked for airmail envelopes. When the clerk found some, she asked for four and went to the small writing booth near the window and wrote four letters. To Father Flood, Mrs. Kehoe and Miss Fortini she simply apologized for her late departure and told them when she would be arriving. To Tony, she said that she loved him and missed him and would be with him, she hoped, by the end of the following week. She gave him the name of the liner and the details she had about the possible time of arrival. She signed her name. And then, having closed the other three envelopes, she read over what she had written to Tony and thought to tear it up and ask for another but decided instead to seal it and hand it in at the desk with the rest.

 On the way up Friary Hill she discovered that she had left her umbrella in the post office but did not go back to collect it.

 Her mother was in the kitchen, washing up. She turned as Eilis came in.

 "I thought after you had left that I should have gone with you. It's a lonely old place, out there."

 "The graveyard?" Eilis asked as she sat down at the kitchen table.

 "Is not that where you were?"

 "It is, Mammy."

 She thought she was going to be able to speak now, but she found that she could not; the words would not come, just a few heavy heaves of breath. Her mother turned around again and looked at her. "Are you all right? Are you upset?"

 "Mammy, there's something I should have told you when I came back first but I have to tell you now. I got married in Brooklyn before I came home. I am married. I should have told you the minute I got back."

 Her mother reached for a towel and began to wipe her hands. Then she folded the towel carefully and deliberately and moved slowly towards the table.

 "Is he American?"

 "He is, Mammy. He's from Brooklyn."

 Her mother sighed and put her hand out, holding the table as though she needed support. She nodded her head slowly.

 "Eily, if you are married, you should be with your husband."

 "I know."

 Eilis started to cry and put her head down on her arms. As she looked up after a while, still sobbing, she found that her mother had not moved.

 "Is he nice, Eily?"

 She nodded. "He is," she said.

 "If you married him, he'd have to be nice, that's what I think," she said.

 Her mother's voice was soft and low and reassuring, but Eilis could see from the look in her eyes how much effort she was putting into saying as little as possible of what she felt.

 "I have to go back," Eilis said. "I have to go in the morning."

 "And you kept this from me all the time?" her mother said.

 "I am sorry, Mammy."

 She began to cry again.

 "You did not have to marry him? You were not in trouble?" her mother asked.

 "No."

 "And tell me something: if you had not married him, would you still be going back?"

 "I do not know," Eilis said.

 "But you are getting the train in the morning?" her mother said.

 "I am, the train to Rosslare and then to Cork."

 "I'll go down and get Joe Dempsey to collect you in the morning. I'll ask him to come at eight so you'll be in plenty of time for the train." She stopped for a moment and Eilis noticed a look of great weariness come over her. "And then I'm going to bed because I'm tired and so I will not see you in the morning. So I'll say goodbye now."

 "It's still early," Eilis said.

 "I'd rather say goodbye now and only once." Her voice had grown determined.

 Her mother came towards her, and, as Eilis stood up, she embraced her.

 "Eily, you're not to cry. If you made a decision to marry someone, then he'd have to be very nice and kind and very special. I'd say he's all that, is he?"

 "He is, Mammy."

 "Well, that's a match, then, because you're all of those things as well. And I'll miss you. But he must be missing you too."

 Eilis was waiting for her mother to say something else as her mother moved and stood in the doorway. Her mother simply looked at her, however, without saying anything.

 "And you'll write to me about him when you get back?" she asked eventually. "You'll tell me all the news?"

 "I'll write to you about him as soon as I get back," Eilis said.

 "If I say any more, I'll only cry. So I'll go down to Dempsey's and arrange the car for you," her mother said as she walked out of the room in a way that was slow and dignified and deliberate.

 Eilis sat quietly in the kitchen. She wondered if her mother had known all along that she had a boyfriend in Brooklyn. The letters Eilis had written to Rose had never been mentioned and yet they must have turned up somewhere. Her mother had gone through Rose's things with such care. She asked herself if her mother had long before prepared what she would say if Eilis announced that she was going back because she had a boyfriend. She almost wished her mother had been angry with her, or had even expressed disappointment. Her response had made Eilis feel that the very last thing in the world she wanted to do now was spend the evening alone packing her suitcases in silence with her mother listening from her bedroom.

 At first she thought that she should go to see Jim Farrell now, but then realized that he would be working behind the bar. She tried to imagine going into the pub and finding him there and trying to talk to him, or waiting while he found his father or his mother to take over the bar as she went out with him and told him that she was leaving. She could imagine his hurt, but she was unsure what exactly he would do, whether he would tell her that he would wait while she got a divorce and attempt to convince her to stay, or whether he would demand an explanation from her as to

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Brooklyn-Colm Toibin - Читати онлайн.

 For Peter Straus

 Part One

 Eilis Lacey, sitting at the window of the upstairs living room in the house on Friary Street, noticed her sister walking briskly from work. She watched Rose crossing the street from sunlight into shade, carrying the new leather handbag that she had bought in Clerys in Dublin in the sale. Rose was wearing a cream-coloured cardigan over her shoulders. Her golf clubs were in the hall; in a few minutes, Eilis knew, someone would call for her and her sister would not return until the summer evening had faded.

 Eilis's bookkeeping classes were almost ended now; she had a manual on her lap about systems of accounting, and on the table behind her was a ledger where she had entered, as her homework, on the debit and credit sides, the daily business of a company whose details she had taken down in notes in the Vocational School the week before.

 As soon as she heard the front door open, Eilis went downstairs. Rose, in the hall, was holding her pocket mirror in front of her face. She was studying herself closely as she applied lipstick and eye make-up before glancing at her overall appearance in the large hall mirror, settling her hair. Eilis looked on silently as her sister moistened her lips and then checked herself one more time in the pocket mirror before putting it away.

 Their mother came from the kitchen to the hall.

 "You look lovely, Rose," she said. "You'll be the belle of the golf club."

 "I'm starving," Rose said, "but I've no time to eat."

 "I'll make a special tea for you later," her mother said. "Eilis and myself are going to have our tea now."

 Rose reached into her handbag and took out her purse. She placed a one-shilling piece on the hallstand. "That's in case you want to go to the pictures," she said to Eilis.

 "And what about me?" her mother asked.

 "She'll tell you the story when she gets home," Rose replied.

 "That's a nice thing to say!" her mother said.

 All three laughed as they heard a car stop outside the door and beep its horn. Rose picked up her golf clubs and was gone.

 Later, as her mother washed the dishes and Eilis dried them, another knock came to the door. When Eilis answered it, she found a girl whom she recognized from Kelly's grocery shop beside the cathedral.

 "Miss Kelly sent me with a message for you," the girl said. "She wants to see you."

 "Does she?" Eilis asked. "And did she say what it was about?"

 "No. You're just to call up there tonight."

 "But why does she want to see me?"

 "God, I do not know, miss. I did not ask her. Do you want me to go back and ask her?"

 "No, it's all right. But are you sure the message is for me?"

 "I am, miss. She says you are to call in on her."

 Since she had decided in any case to go to the pictures some other evening, and being tired of her ledger, Eilis changed her dress and put on a cardigan and left the house. She walked along Friary Street and Rafter Street into the Market Square and then up the hill to the cathedral. Miss Kelly's shop was closed, so Eilis knocked on the side door, which led to the upstairs part where she knew Miss Kelly lived. The door was answered by the young girl who had come to the house earlier, who told her to wait in the hall.

 Eilis could hear voices and movement on the floor above and then the young girl came down and said that Miss Kelly would be with her before long.

 She knew Miss Kelly by sight, but her mother did not deal in her shop as it was too expensive. Also, she believed that her mother did not like Miss Kelly, although she could think of no reason for this. It was said that Miss Kelly sold the best ham in the town and the best creamery butter and the freshest of everything including cream, but Eilis did not think she had ever been in the shop, merely glanced into the interior as she passed and noticed Miss Kelly at the counter.

 Miss Kelly slowly came down the stairs into the hallway and turned on a light.

 "Now," she said, and repeated it as though it were a greeting. She did not smile.

 Eilis was about to explain that she had been sent for, and to ask politely if this was the right time to come, but Miss Kelly's way of looking her up and down made her decide to say nothing. Because of Miss Kelly's manner, Eilis wondered if she had been offended by someone in the town and had mistaken her for that person.

 "Here you are, then," Miss Kelly said.

 Eilis noticed a number of black umbrellas resting against the hallstand.

 "I hear you have no job at all but a great head for figures."

 "Is that right?"

 "Oh, the whole town, anyone who is anyone, comes into the shop and I hear everything."

 Eilis wondered if this was a reference to her own mother's consistent dealing in another grocery shop, but she was not sure. Miss Kelly's thick glasses made the expression on her face difficult to read.

 "And we are worked off our feet every Sunday here. Sure, there's nothing else open. And we get all sorts, good, bad and indifferent. And, as a rule, I open after seven mass, and between the end of nine o 'clock mass until eleven mass is well over, there is not room to move in this shop. I have Mary here to help, but she's slow enough at the best of times, so I was on the lookout for someone sharp, someone who would know people and give the right change. But only on Sundays, mind. The rest of the week we can manage ourselves. And you were recommended. I made inquiries about you and it would be seven and six a week, it might help your mother a bit. "

 Miss Kelly spoke, Eilis thought, as though she were describing a slight done to her, closing her mouth tightly between each phrase.

 "So that's all I have to say now. You can start on Sunday, but come in tomorrow and learn off all the prices and we'll show you how to use the scales and the slicer. You'll have to tie your hair back and get a good shop coat in Dan Bolger's or Burke O'Leary's. "

 Eilis was already saving this conversation for her mother and Rose; she wished she could think of something smart to say to Miss Kelly without being openly rude. Instead, she remained silent.

 "Well?" Miss Kelly asked.

 Eilis realized that she could not turn down the offer. It would be better than nothing and, at the moment, she had nothing.

 "Oh, yes, Miss Kelly," she said. "I'll start whenever you like."

 "And on Sunday you can go to seven o'clock mass. That's what we do, and we open when it's over."

 "That's lovely," Eilis said.

 "So, come in tomorrow, then. And if I'm busy I'll send you home, or you can fill bags of sugar while you wait, but if I'm not busy, I'll show you all the ropes. "

 "Thank you, Miss Kelly," Eilis said.

 "Your mother'll be pleased that you have something. And your sister," Miss Kelly said. "I hear she's great at the golf. So go home now like a good girl. You can let yourself out."

 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. The Byrnes had only one room downstairs, which served as a kitchen, dining room and sitting room, and it was clear that Nancy had news of some sort to impart,

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Brooklyn-Colm Toibin fb2. Бібліотека електронних книг. Різні формати pdf, txt, fb2, doc, epub, mobi скачати безкоштовно без СМС, без реєстрації на ipad, iphone, android. Читання онлайн книг

It is Enniscorthy in the southeast of Ireland in the early 1950s. Eilis Lacey is one among many of her generation who can not find work at home. Thus when a job is offered in America, it is clear to everyone that she must go. Leaving her family and country, Eilis heads for unfamiliar Brooklyn, and to a crowded boarding house where the landlady's intense scrutiny and the small jealousies of her fellow residents only deepen her isolation.

Slowly, however, the pain of parting is buried beneath the rhythms of her new life - until she begins to realize that she has found a sort of happiness. As she falls in love, news comes home that forces her back to Enniscorthy, not to the constrictions of her old life, but to new possibilities which conflict deeply with the life she has left behind in Brooklyn.

In the quiet character of Eilis Lacey, Colm Toibin has created one of fiction's most memorable heroines and in Brooklyn, a luminous novel of devastating power. Toibin demonstrates once again his astonishing range and that he is a true master of nuanced prose, emotional depth, and narrative virtuosity.

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Colm Toibin Brooklyn - скачати книгу безкоштовно в форматі epub, fb2, rtf, mobi, pdf на телефон, андроїд, айфон, ipad або читати книгу онлайн, відгуки, короткий зміст

It is Enniscorthy in the southeast of Ireland in the early 1950s. Eilis Lacey is one among many of her generation who can not find work at home. Thus when a job is offered in America, it is clear to everyone that she must go. Leaving her family and country, Eilis heads for unfamiliar Brooklyn, and to a crowded boarding house where the landlady's intense scrutiny and the small jealousies of her fellow residents only deepen her isolation.

Slowly, however, the pain of parting is buried beneath the rhythms of her new life - until she begins to realize that she has found a sort of happiness. As she falls in love, news comes from home that forces her back to Enniscorthy, not to the constrictions of her old life, but to new possibilities which conflict deeply with the life she has left behind in Brooklyn.

In the quiet character of Eilis Lacey, Colm Toibin has created one of fiction's most memorable heroines and in Brooklyn, a luminous novel of devastating power. Toibin demonstrates once again his astonishing range and that he is a true master of nuanced prose, emotional depth, and narrative virtuosity.

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Brooklyn-Colm Toibin Сторінка 11 - Читати онлайн.

 Eilis stood behind her in her nightdress and her bare feet. She was laughing.

 "I need to go to the toilet now," she said. "I hope you do not mind."

 Later in the day they came with buckets of water filled with disinfectant and they washed the floors of the corridors and the rooms. They took away the sheets and blankets that had been soiled and brought new ones and fresh towels. Georgina, who had been watching out for them, pushed the trunk back to its place inside the door. When the neighbours, two elderly American ladies, whom Eilis now saw for the first time, complained to the cleaners that the bathroom had been locked, the cleaners shrugged and carried on working. The second they had gone, Georgina and Eilis edged the trunk back into the bathroom before their neighbours got a chance to block the door from the other side. When they banged on both the bathroom door and the door of the cabin, Eilis and Georgina laughed.

 "They missed their chance. That will teach them now!" Georgina said.

 She went to the dining room and came back with two jugs of water.

 "They have only one waiter," she said, "so you can take what you like. This is your ration for tonight. Eat nothing and drink plenty, that's the key. It will not stop you being sick, but it won ' t be as bad. "

 "It feels as if the boat is being pushed back all the time," Eilis said.

 "From down here it always feels like that," Georgina replied. "But stay still and save your breath and vomit to your heart's content when you feel like it and you'll be a new woman tomorrow."

 "You sound like you have been on this boat thousands of times."

 "I have," Georgina said. "I go home once a year to see my mam. It's a lot of suffering for a week. By the time I've recovered I have to go back. But I love seeing them all. We're not getting any younger, any of us, so it's nice to spend a week together. "

 After another night of constant retching, Eilis was exhausted; the liner seemed to hammer against the water. But then the sea became calm. Georgina, who moved regularly up and down the corridor, met the couple in the adjoining cabin and made an agreement with them that neither side would prevent the other from using the bathroom, but they would instead attempt to share it in a spirit of harmony now that the storms were over. She moved her trunk out of the bathroom and warned Eilis, who admitted to being hungry, not to eat anything at all, no matter how hungry she was, but to drink plenty of water and try not to fall asleep during the day, despite the overwhelming temptation to do so. If she could sleep a full night, Georgina said, she would feel much better.

 Eilis could not believe she had four more nights to spend in this cramped space, with stale air and weak light. It was only when she went into the bathroom to wash herself that she found moments of relief from the vague nausea mixed with terrible hunger that stayed with her and the claustrophobia that seemed to become more intense whenever Georgina left her in the cabin.

 Since they had only a bath in her mother's house, she had never had a shower before, and it took her a while to work out how to get the water at the right temperature without turning it off altogether. As she soaped herself and put shampoo on her wet hair, she wondered if this could be heated sea water and, if not, then how the ship managed to carry so much fresh water. In tanks, maybe, she thought, or perhaps it was rainwater. Whatever it was, standing under it brought her ease for the first time since the ship had left Liverpool.

 On the night before they were due to dock, she went to the dining room with Georgina, who told her that she looked wretched and that if she did not take care she would be stopped at Ellis Island and put in quarantine, or at least given a thorough medical examination. Back in the cabin, Eilis showed Georgina her passport and papers to prove to her that she would not have a problem entering the United States. She told her that she would be met by Father Flood. Georgina was surprised, she said, that Eilis had a full, rather than a temporary, work permit. She did not think it was easy to get such a document any more, even with the help of a priest. She made Eilis open her suitcase and show her what clothes she had brought so that she could select suitable attire for her when she was disem-barking and make sure that nothing she wore was too wrinkled.

 "Nothing fancy," she said. "We do not want you looking like a tart."

 She chose a white dress with a red floral pattern that Rose had given Eilis and a plain cardigan and a plain-coloured scarf. She looked at the three pairs of shoes that Eilis had packed and selected the plainest, insisting that the shoes would have to be polished.

 "And wear your coat over your arm and look as though you know where you're going and do not wash your hair again, the water on this boat has made it stand out like a ball of steel wool. You'll need to spend a few hours brushing it to get it into any shape at all. "

 In the morning, between arranging to have her trunk carried on deck, Georgina began to put make-up on, getting Eilis to comb her hair out even straighter now that the brushing was done so that it could be tied back into a bun.

 "Do not look too innocent," she said. "When I put some eye-liner on you and some rouge and mascara, they'll be afraid to stop you. Your suitcase is all wrong, but there's nothing we can do about that."

 "What's wrong with it?"

 "It's too Irish and they stop the Irish."

 "Really?"

 "Try not to look so frightened."

 "I'm hungry."

 "We're all hungry. But, darling, you do not need to look hungry. Pretend you are full."

 "And I almost never wear make-up at home."

 "Well, you're about to enter the land of the free and the brave. And I do not know how you got that stamp on your passport. The priest must know someone. The only thing they can stop you for is if they think you have TB, so do not cough whatever you do, or if they think you have some funny eye disease, I can not remember the name of it. So keep your eyes open. Sometimes, they do not stop you at all, except to look at your papers. "

 Georgina made Eilis sit on the bottom bunk and turn her face towards the light and close her eyes. For twenty minutes she worked slowly, applying a thin cake of make-up and then some rouge, with eye-liner and mascara. She backcombed her hair. When she finished, she sent Eilis into the bathroom with some lipstick and told her to put it on very gently and make sure that she did not spread it all over her face. When Eilis looked at herself in the mirror she was surprised. She seemed older and, she thought, almost good-looking. She thought that she would love to know how to put make-up on properly herself in the way that Rose knew and Georgina knew. It would be much easier, she imagined, to go out among people she did not know, maybe people she would never see again, if she could look like this. It would make her less nervous in one way, she thought, but maybe more so in another, because she knew that people would look at her and might have a view on her that was wrong if she were dressed up like this every day in Brooklyn.

 Part Two

 Eilis woke in the night and pushed the blanket onto the floor and tried to go back to sleep with just a sheet covering her, but it was still too hot. She was bathed in sweat. This was, they told her, probably the last week of the heat; soon, the temperature would drop and she would need blankets, but for the moment it would remain muggy and humid and everyone would move slowly and wearily in the streets.

 Her room was at the back of the house and the bathroom was across the corridor. The floorboards creaked and the door, she thought, was made of light material and the plumbing was loud so she could hear the other boarders if they went to the bathroom in the night or came back home late at the weekends. She did not mind being woken as long as it was still dark outside and she could curl up in her own bed knowing there was time to doze. She could manage then to keep all thoughts of the day ahead out of her mind. But if she woke when it was bright, then she knew she had only an hour or two at most before the alarm clock would sound and the day would begin.

 Mrs. Kehoe, who owned the house, was from Wexford town and loved to talk to her about home, about Sunday trips to Curracloe and Rosslare Strand, or hurling matches, or the shops along the Main Street in Wexford town, or characters she remembered. Eilis had

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