The setting of Ellis Island is set in the early 20th century when young Ellie is only eight- years-old in Ireland with her childhood friend John Hogan with whom she eventually marries. They are content on their farm until one day he is injured fighting in the Irish Republican Army and Ellie decides their only salvation is going to America by earning a living there.
The characters in the book are interesting with Ellie’s father who almost became a priest. He was used to fine things in the household and everything had to be kept meticulously. While her mother kept silent and did not express her feelings. The finer things in the household were kept under lock and key. Who was the one that wanted things this way and what was the reason for it? There were the Hogans who Ellie wanted to be in their home rather in her own since they were more loving and caring than her own parents. When Ellie was banned from their household and from seeing John, she went on a hunger strike. There's Ellie's childhood sweetheart John who loved Ellie deeply, and he loved Ellie more than even his country, which left him deeply wounded from. And finally there is Ellie, who was always able to turn things around.
The book is written in three parts from Ireland in the years 1908-1920, in America from 1920-1924 and home in 1924 with a reading group guide included for a book club discussion.
The novel is a page turner and will leave you rushing through the words to find out what happens next. It will leave you appreciative and thinking about all the strife and hardship immigrants faced long ago when coming to America and not receiving the perks and entitlements, in which the immigrants of today receive.
Ellie loved America because America planted the seeds of freedom in her heart and soul, but it was the fertile and rich soil of home, in which allowed it to thrive.Will she stay in Ireland or will she return to America?
For more information regarding the author, please visit her website at http://www.katekerrigan.ie for more information.
Ellis Island is a Harpers Collins book. For more information please visit their website at http://www.harpercollins.com for more information.
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