Friday, February 13, 2015

Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan

The first in this historical fiction trilogy by Kate Kerrigan follows young Ellie Hogan as she comes of age, goes to boarding school, and marries her first love. Set in the 1920s, Ellis Island tells the tale of a young couple, so in love, trying to live their lives amid war torn Ireland as the Irish battle the British for Hole Rule (or the right to rule Ireland by the Irish). When Ellie's husband is injured in battle, and times get exceptionally tough, Ellie receives a letter from a friend in New York offering her a job as a lady's maid for a wealthy woman.

Promising to send money back to Ireland to pay for her husband's medical care, Ellie takes the job, setting sail for New York. After seeing the beckoning Statue of Liberty and making it through Ellis Island, Ellie realized just how different New York is. Having never been this far away from home before, Ellie starts to miss home, her "normal" life, and her husband, John.

Once she's finally settled into life in New York, this book follows the story of what it was like to be a young woman in the 1920s. Filled with 1920s fashion and cultural references, read along as Ellie encounters all of the new, exciting, and often overwhelming things that are changing in her life. While she starts to assimilate in New York, she can't help but feel like a piece of who she is was left behind in Ireland.

Kate Kerrigan writes this book in a way that makes you feel as if you're living in lush, green Ireland and traveling aboard the crowded RMS Celtic with Ellie. When she finally makes it to New York you can't help but relate to the awe-inspiring sight of  Statue of Liberty and the great hall of Ellis Island (especially if you've been there to see such an amazing, humbling historical sight). Be sure to read Ellis Island and the other books in this trilogy.

Check out Ellis Island @ the library today!