Author: Heather Webb
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Feb. 8, 2022
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Sourcebooks Landmark
Book Rating: 8.5/10
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.
Fascinating, compelling, and memorable!
The Next Ship Home is an immersive tale that sweeps you away to New York City during 1902 and into the life of two women, Francesca Ricci, a young Italian girl who dreams of a better life in America only to suffer persecution and unimaginable loss in the shadows of the statue of liberty, and Alma Brauer, a young American woman with a passion for languages and a new job on Elis Island that, she quickly learns is not a place for immigrants to feel welcome and supported, but rather a building where corruption is rampant and abuse is prolific.
The prose is vivid and rich. The characters are flawed, driven, and engaging. And the plot is a poignant, tender tale of life, loss, love, hope, prejudice, politics, family, sacrifices, tragedy, abusive power, successes, and female friendship.
Overall, The Next Ship Home is an absorbing, moving, beautifully written tale by Webb inspired by real-life events that, at its heart, highlights that sometimes a little kindness, a bit of luck, and a lot of hard work and determination can make a world of difference, and reminds us that even though we’ve come so far when it comes to exclusion and racism, we still have a ways to go.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.