Over on Vulpes Libris I’ve posted a review of Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn. I really liked it, but I wasn’t quite convinced by how he covered the intimately feminine aspects of Éilis’s experiences. Tóibín is very good on sea-bathing sex and shaving for bathing-suits, but he says nothing about menstrual blood or the fretting about white skirts that was an inescapable part of 1950s young womanhood, but really not mentioned in polite company. Éilis’s love life, her desires for her future, her sense of identity – all this is magnificently described, and I’m totally happy with the novel as a novel. But there are missing bits, that could have been covered, since other, equally messy and unmentionable aspects of her life, are. But that’s just a quibble. His fashion history is superb, and his descriptions of American department store life should be read in parallel with Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s The Home-Maker.