The more I think about these two authors, the more I realize that they mirror each other in writing style and topics. The two books above are a great example. Both authors are Irish and their novels typically focus on Ireland, with a few exceptions to some of their titles. The first story deals with Ria, living in Dublin, who gets the opportunity to spend the Summer across the sea in New England. She has exchanged homes with Marilyn, who gets submerged into the Irish culture. Ria discovers many things about herself and returns home with a different point of view. The second tale is about Eilis, who leaves her mother and sister in Ireland to start a new life as a bookkeeper in Brooklyn, after World War II. In both novels, the main characters are positively influenced by the American culture but they both get pulled back to their home town, unwillingly. Each book highlights a life-changing experience for the protagonist and the sense of trying to belong, while they are living among strangers in a different country. Both plots allow you to analyze how people struggle to be accepted and successful, even within a well known community. There are small trials and obstacles for both women but they become stronger for all their efforts to overcome the challenges.