Review of The Next Ship Home: A Novel of Ellis Island


I have been to Ellis Island so I was very interested in reading this book. This was such a well written and well researched book and it is a very compelling read. Make sure to read the Author’s notes at the end of the book! The two main characters are a young female Italian immigrant and a young woman who is just starting her job at Ellis Island. As Francesca starts her life in America she has many hurdles to overcome and many disappointments along the way. Alma first meets Francesca through her job at Ellis Island. Alma’s life is certainly not what she hoped it would be. She strives to go to university and improve her education in the hopes of becoming an interpreter when such an idea is frowned upon for a woman. Both of these women become close friends and they are both very independent and resilient. The problems at Ellis Island are well documented in the book and are disturbing and heart breaking. Ellis Island and the people who immigrated through there are such an important part of history and I definitely enjoyed reading more about that time. This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it if you are interested in this time in history.