Next Ship Home: A Novel of Ellis Island
By Heather Webb
Why this book?
I personally enjoyed this book for the courage found by the Heroine in a world where women were considered 2nd class citizens, but she, through strength of character and love of a sister she loses due to illness and no monies to save her, gives her that impetus to forge ahead through unconventional, but effective ways and new friends of wealth in America. It could be called a Cinderella story with illegal immigrants as heroines.
A book of 1902, about a young woman who had been abused by her father to the point that a nun suggested she find refuge elsewhere. From Italy, she proceeds to save enough money to book passage with a ship for both herself and her younger sister who is already ill from similar abuse. She looks forward to Ellis Island, knowing she then will be on the safe harbor of America, until she learns that without someone to meet them as a sponsor, they might both be sent immediately back to Italy.
I would recommend this book for the depth of feeling given to the characters by Heather and her insight into how desperate the heroine knows she is. Ms. Webb used actual letters from those who had passed through Ellis Island and the instances of horror have since been proven true historically, though her characters are fiction. Very well written and reminded me of my own inner strengths rarely used of getting around the barriers set up for women, but managed when left alone without monetary help after divorce.
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