Brooklyn (reading-as-a-writer 6)

I didn’t want to read Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín because 1950s, small-town, Irish emigre, coming-of-age stories are really not my thing. (Plus, although I loved the clothes I found the film pretty insipid.) Then a writing friend urged me to give the book a go – and I’m just so grateful! #ThreeGifts for the writer-reader.: (1) Pitch-perfect, consistent and completely believable point-of-view. (2) Subtle, understated, almost sly revelation of character, Tiny details, scraps of dialogue, fleeting thoughts; nothing wasted, every element carefully chosen to contribute to an utterly credible whole. (3) Gentle, everyday humour, tender love scenes, and softly dawning sadness. (Thanks again to @mrandreqwille for the inspiration to read as a writer and find my #ThreeGifts.) #amreading #amwriting #writinginspiration

A post shared by Hannah Hulme Hunter (@hannahonbrillhill) on

Note added August 15
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I love how one thing leads to another; the serendipitous trail of reading and thinking and talking…

This is a snippet from a hard copy of a March issue of The Guardian Review in which Tóibín describes Eilis in Brooklyn as “a strange, blank creature … both determined and innocent, so that there were many things going on in her”.

This beautifully describes my (new) heroine, Hope. My challenge in the early chapters of Soldiers is to develop Hope up as a character in such a way that when she eventually acts out of character it is both shocking but entirely credible.

About Hannah

Author of literary historical fiction set in the First World War. Revising my first book, writing the next, seeking representation. Mountaineer, gardener, traveller, off-road runner. Africa, modern history, coffee, roses, and unrealistic romance. NHS midwife in a former life.
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