Ellis Island began with Eileen’s life as a young girl in Ireland where she became enchanted with her neighbor, John. After finished boarding school, they eloped against her parents approval and the union quickly left them poor and desperate. When John’s injury as a Captain in the IRA mandated an expensive medical treatment, Eileen decided she could earn money faster in America. And so, she set sail!
Eileen’s decision to leave her home and venture in the unknown streets of America showed her strong of character, and it was that decision that made me like her. Since she had a job waiting for her in New York, Eileen didn’t exactly have the typical immigrant experience of poverty and unsteady jobs. I enjoyed watching her spend her first dollar on ice cream, and dress in fun outfits as she roamed New York free from the burdens of her homeland. There was a perfect balance between the direct way the story unfolded and the descriptions that showcased the beauty Eileen experienced in Manhattan. The only character the author really described was Eileen, which meant that her love affair developed without too much emphasis and the relationships she had with the other women were a bit superficial. Still, the story was weighty and I liked watching Eileen wrestle between being the self-sufficient woman she became in America and the dutiful wife she was back home.
Halfway through the novel I was already on Amazon purchasing the other two books in the series. I can’t wait for them to arrive!