I know it isn’t a popular thing to say but sometimes the movie is better than the book. At least in some aspect. Maybe it’s the kind of story that benefits from the visual aid. Think Jurassic Park where we actually got to see (and hear) the dinosaurs!
Or maybe the movie streamlined a plot that at times can be plodding (we’ve all read those). Or, as is the case with Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn, the movie gives one a better sense of the characters.
In intentionally ready Brooklyn before watching the Oscar-nominated film version expecting to fall completely in love with both. The book, however, kept me at a distance. As I wrote in my review, I felt like a spectator watching Eilis’s life like a bird high above only mildly interested in the events going on below. The movie and Saoirse Ronan’s captivating performance brought me into the story. Into her life. I won’t say that all of the changes made to the story for the film adaptation were for the better but feeling a connection with Eilis made it more enjoyable than the book.