The Next Ship Home by Heather Webb
The Next Ship Home is a compelling story of immigration, corruption/abuse, cultural differences, friendship, and women supporting women.
Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Ellis Island (1902), Immigration, Friendship, Women Supporting Women
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My Summary of The Next Ship Home:
In 1902, two young women meet at Ellis Island. Francesca and her ill sister are new arrivals from Italy and they attempt to gain entry into the United States. Their arrival coincides with Alma’s first day on the job. Alma spots the sisters and offers her help. As Francesca and Alma encounter corruption, abuse, and mistreatment, they forge a friendship.
Ellis Island in 1905 (image source: Wikipedia)
I love a story of two determined and resilient women overcoming obstacles, supporting each other, and forming a friendship. Francesca and Alma are well-drawn and realistic. I’m inspired by their ability to appreciate and understand each other’s culture and their courage to support each other and follow their dreams. For fans of women’s fiction, there is a side of chaste romance for each character but it doesn’t overwhelm the story.
My own relatives came through Ellis Island, and I enjoyed a thoughtful and relisttic look at what the experience might have been like for them. Heather Webb creates a vivid picture of the circumstances and establishes a strong sense of place.
Thoughtful themes include the immigration experience, abuse of power, fighting corruption, women supporting women, friendship, overcoming obstacles, determination, taking risks, prejudice and hatred, compassion, facing hardship, resilience, and hope for a better future.
Content Consideration: coerced sex in exchange for a signature, abuse of power
Recommending The Next Ship Home
Fans of Women’s Ficiton/Historical Fiction will enjoy a glimpse into Ellis Island in 1902. Readers who appreciate stories of friendship and women suporting women will find lots to love here. Book clubs will enjoy thoughtful discussion topics. Because it’s thought provoking and page-turning, I”m warmly recommending The Next Ship Home for your TBR.
Related: Another histfic story of the immigrant experience (although not to America) is The Boat People by Sharon Bala.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Meet the Author of The Next Ship Home, Heather Webb
Is this compelling story on your TBR or have you read it?
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