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Books

Colm Toibin’s restraint – like his characters' – is quietly overwhelming

A review of Nora Webster, by Colm Toibin. Anyone who expects a novel about a bereaved wife with four small kids to emote wildly has obviously never read any Toibin before

4 October 2014

9:00 AM

4 October 2014

9:00 AM

Nora Webster Colm Tóibín

Viking, pp.311, £18.99

In Colm Tóibín’s much-loved 2009 novel Brooklyn, Eilis Lacy, somewhat to her own surprise, leaves 1950s Enniscorthy (Tóibín’s own home town in County Wexford where several of his books are set) for a new life in the United States. Before that,

Eilis had always presumed that she would live in the town all her life, having the same friends and neighbours… that she would find a job in the town, and then marry someone and give up the job and have children.

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