Eilise (Saoirse Ronan) is searching for a life outside her small-town Irish existence. The shores of America beckon her to leave behind all that is familiar to this young and naive Irish shop girl. With the blessing of her family, she sails to the new world in the foreboding New York City or specifically, Brooklyn. On arrival to this land of promise and the Brooklyn Dodgers, she travels through the struggles of homesickness, adjusting to a strange, new culture and developing new relationships.
After beginning a new job and adjusting to life in a boarding house, she is introduced to Tony (Emory Cohen) at a dance at the local church. This young Italian plumber is captivated by the understated, but beautiful Eilise. As their relationship grows and her new found life flourishes in this land of opportunity, a family tragedy occurs back in Ireland and Eilise has to return home. She is quickly confronted with the decision to remain in her former homeland or to return to the life that she has come to love in New York.
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