Heather is one of my favourite authors. I have spent afternoons reading her books.
The Next Ship Home was no exception.
As most people know Ellis Island was the entry point for those wishing to find a better life in the United States. This explores the saying “all are welcome here” but as we know all are not always welcome here.
Ellis Island would have been a welcoming site for those aboard ships heading towards what they would presume was a new life. One such passenger was Francesca. An Italian immigrant who hoped for a better life in the U.S. Her dreams are big and her hopes high. She is excited to start a new chapter.
The same day that Francesca steps foot on American soil, Alma begins work at the center where newly landed Immigrants are processed. Alma is an incredible linguist and wants nothing more than to help those coming to be processed start a new life.
But as history has documented, Ellis Island was not the refuge it promised to be. Many were sent home needlessly or not even processed thanks to politics, and policies put in place by President Roosevelt.
As both Alma and Francesca watch people’s lives being toyed with, as they watch families torn apart by these policies they must also work together to escape their own fates.
This really delves into the American Dream idea with devastating consequences for those who don’t belong in the eyes of others.