Colm Toibin's Brooklyn
I hate that the book jacket gave away a bunch of things that happened like 200 pages into the book, so I'll be more vague than they were. Anyway, it's the 1950s and a passive young Irish girl who can't find a job in her hometown is packed off to America by her beloved mother and sister. Reading about her adjustment to a whole new country (and a whole new world of dating) was surprisingly riveting, even though the story had almost a dream-like quality to it (which is certainly not a bad thing, just it's not always as attention-grabbing). I'd never read anything by Toibin before and clearly I've been missing out. A.