I couldn’t wait to continue reading about Ellie and John’s saga in City Of Hope, the second book in the Ellis Island Trilogy. The capitalistic approach to life Ellie picked up from her prior trip to America left her unable to assimilate in the small Irish town that her husband John refused to leave. I looked forward to Ellie returning to New York, and waited impatiently for the event that would send her back.
Although the city’s inhabitants now recovered from the crash of 1929, the nights were abuzz with fast jazz and excitement that surrounded Ellie. Ellie’s focus on helping depressed families by starting a communal housing project was an odd story line. The immigrant men were stereotyped as brutes who focused on liquor and gambling rather than their family, and who couldn’t stand that their wives earned more than they did. I liked that Ellie recreated the success she had in Ireland as a shop owner by opening another shop in New York, but it seemed unrealistic that everything she touched turned to gold. I only went along with the unnatural fortune because it furthered the idea of the American Dream. Despite large profits in her store, she continued to grapple with love and loss. Ultimately, this story was a powerful journey of self discovery that examined the depths of Ellie’s soul. She criticized her own actions until she understood exactly what she was running away from and made a grand change in her life.
Kate Kerrigan created a well-rounded story that showed the resilient spirit of one immigrant and how her devotion to humanity positively impacted so many others. I have been utterly swept away with the beauty of the writing and am anxious to read the final book.