Eilis Lacey followed her sister, Rose's, plan to leave Ireland and find a better future and job in the US. She departs terribly, enduring seasickness and a terrible relationship with her cabin mates. A kind traveler gives her advice to live in Brooklyn, where many Irish immigrants live. Eilis settles in Brooklyn and becomes close to Father Flood, a Catholic priest. She gets a job in a department store and falls in love with an Italian boy named Tony. News from home sends Eilis back to Ireland, away from Tony.