An unflinching look at the immigrant experience, an unlikely and unique friendship, and a resonant story of female empowerment.”—Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman with the Blue Star
Ellis Island, 1902: Two women band together to hold America to its promise: “Give me your tired, your poor … your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
A young Italian woman arrives on the shores of America, her sights set on a better life. That same day, a young American woman reports to her first day of work at the immigration center. But Ellis Island isn’t a refuge for Francesca or Alma, not when ships depart every day with those who are refused entry to the country and when corruption ripples through every corridor. While Francesca resorts to desperate measures to ensure she will make it off the island, Alma fights for her dreams of becoming a translator, even as women are denied the chance.
As the two women face the misdeeds of a system known to manipulate and abuse immigrants searching for new hope in America, they form an unlikely friendship—and share a terrible secret—altering their fates and the lives of the immigrants who come after them.
This is a novel of the dark secrets of Ellis Island, when entry to “the land of the free” promised a better life but often delivered something drastically different, and when immigrant strength and female friendship found ways to triumph even on the darkest days.
Inspired by true events and for fans of Kristina McMorris and Hazel Gaynor, The Next Ship Home holds up a mirror to our own times, deftly questioning America’s history of prejudice and exclusion while also reminding us of our citizens’ singular determination.
Alma is having some tough times at home. Her step father wants her out of his house. He wants her married and gone. So, he gets her a job at Ellis Island for starters. Here, Alma comes across 2 young immigrant sisters from Italy. She becomes fast friends with one of the young ladies, Francesca. When Francesca’s sister dies, it becomes a battle to be able to stay in America.
Alma really came into her own in this book. She developed a backbone and stood up for what was right. I found her situation intriguing. Then, there is Francesca. Her life is so totally different from Alma’s and it becomes very complicated the further you move along in the story. You will have to read this to find out!
The only reason for the 4 stars is because the book has a very slow start and the conversations are a bit stilted. This part of the book needs a good editor in my opinion. But, I loved the history in this book. I very much enjoyed learning about the process of coming through Ellis Island and the questionable staff with all their corruptions and complications. What these people went through to achieve their dreams…frightening in so many ways!
Need a well researched historical fiction…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.