Before I start, I haven’t lost count – Book 26 of the year was a flit into Chalet School fan fic so I’ll review it with another which is about to arrive. Not sure they quite count tbh, but I was way behind on my book count, so I decided it did rather than fall further behind!
Book 27, Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan, I picked up from the library as a belated nod to their reading club, which I still haven’t managed to attend. It is the tale of a boy and girl who grow up together and are young adults at the beginning of ‘the troubles’ in Ireland. As the story progresses, John stays behind to take part in the fight for independence, while Ellie goes to New York to make enough money to set them, literally (if you read the story you’ll understand!), back on their feet. Once there her eyes are opened to a whole new world; decadence and opulence, other men, an independent working life, the free nature of a classless society which is freed from the trappings of habit and tradition. Ellis Island tells the story of two worlds and how they collide within the relationship of a young couple.
It’s not a complex story, nor particularly ground breaking in its description of Ireland during the time. What makes it a good read is the manner of the telling, through the eyes of Ellie and her struggle to be loyal against her desire for freedom and excitement. The descriptions of New York reminded me of Ruth Appleby a little which is a similar story set further back in time. And I learned something; it occurred to me a few days later that I didn’t know what the title referred to. Ellis Island is the island in the bay of New York (bay?) which handled immigration. So there 🙂
*PS – yes, there was a random Freddie popped up in the middle of it too.