The movie centres on a young Irish woman, Eilis, who is insecure and yet confident enough to make a life for herself. She leaves Ireland and immigrates to America in search of freedom and a new future. She is a kind-hearted and compassionate woman, who, in spite of feeling uncomfortable, tries to step out into the unknown to discover herself. We have the pleasure of watching how this vulnerable woman matures in life and stands up for herself.
Even though the movie is set in the 1950’s, the feelings and the emotions are relatable to any decade. The movie very delicately portrays one's longing to figure out where home is. At first, Eilis feels home sick after migrating to America, but gradually she finds a life and a love. When she goes back to her own country following her sister's death, she realises her true home. Some of the emotions shown in the movie are quite heart-wrenching.
In the end, even though it seems that a love triangle is developing, Eilis’ ultimate decision engages the audience even more. It is a choice that Eilis needs to make based on her experiences of her new and old life. We see that Eilis has matured and she confidently shares her wisdom with another young Irish girl who immigrates to America.