The Next Ship Home: A Novel of Ellis Island by Heather Webb
Paperback, 432 pages
Publication: February 8th 2022 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Historical Fiction
From Goodreads: Ellis Island, 1902: Two women band together to hold America to its promise: "Give me your tired, your poor..."
Ellis Island, 1902. Francesca arrives on the shores of America, her sights set on a better life than the one she left in Italy. That same day, aspiring linguist Alma reports to her first day of work at the immigrant processing center. Ellis, though, is not the refuge it first appears thanks to President Roosevelt's attempts to deter crime. Francesca and Alma will have to rely on each other to escape its corruption and claim the American dreams they were promised.
A thoughtful historical inspired by true events, this novel probes America's history of prejudice and exclusion—when entry at Ellis Island promised a better life but often delivered something drastically different, immigrants needed strength, resilience, and friendship to fight for their futures.
My Thoughts: New York City is on my list of places to visit, and Ellis Island is very close to the top of that list. Reading about Ellis Island, the people who worked there and the people who went through the doors during the 1900’s has made me want to visit it even more.
Heather Webb wrote an amazing historical fiction book that brings the reader right into the 1900’s, to a country where women are fighting to make a difference, parents get to make choices for their daughters, and immigrants are coming to Ellis Island by the 1000’s. I could feel the history coming out of the story as I read.
Francesca is an interesting character. She comes to the USA to start her life over, but things do not go as planned for her. While she struggles with the losses in her life, she also finds friendships in the people who help her get into a country that she dreamt about living in. I admire her strength to travel so far not knowing what was waiting for her.
Ellis Island came alive for me as I kept reading, I could picture New York as I read about the different burrows. I could hear the unique accents as the characters shared their stories with the reader.
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Meet Heather Webb: (from her website) Heather Webb is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of seven historical novels. In 2015, Rodin’s Lover was a Goodread’s Top Pick, and in 2018, Last Christmas in Paris won the Women’s Fiction Writers Association STAR Award. Meet Me in Monaco, was selected as a finalist for the 2020 Goldsboro RNA award in the UK, as well as the 2019 Digital Book World’s Fiction prize. To date, Heather’s books have been translated to over a dozen languages. She lives in New England with her family and one feisty rabbit.
Heather’s next solo novel, The Next Ship Home, is inspired by true events and reveals the dark secrets of Ellis Island as two unlikely friends challenge a corrupt system, altering their fate and the lives of the immigrants that come after them. Stay tuned through her newsletter for updates on the release date in early 2022 from Sourcebooks.
Heather has also joined forces again with her beloved writing partner, Hazel Gaynor, for a third collaboration, Three Words for Goodbye, in which two feuding sisters travel to Europe at their grandmother’s last request, only to be faced with one of the most devastating disasters of the 20th century. Now available from HarperCollins.
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