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Ellis Island

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  325 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
They were five young penniless people who came to America at the turn of the century--a land of shining hope and breathtaking challenge. They came to fulfill a glowing promise and take the fearful gamble of a new life in a land where anything was possible.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 5th 1992 by Signet (first published 1983)
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Oct 13, 2011 Eileen rated it really liked it
An entertaining and informative read about America in the beginning of the 20th century seen through the eyes of five young immigrants. I think it captures the feel of that time and the characters are pretty interesting. My actual rating is 3,5 stars.

Jake, Russian, and Marco, Italian, become friends on the boat to America on their way (for better or for worse) to make their dream come true and become rich. Soon they find out that being rich doesn't mean the same as being happy. Bridget and Georg
Jul 25, 2011 Tori added it
2010- This book wasn't that bad, someone randomly picked it up for me, so I was unsure what to expect. I thought the author did a good job of picturing some of the hardships immigrants went through, although the later storylines were a bit unbelievable. I also found it odd that although we were introduced to five main characters at the beginning, the author choose to focus most of the story on two of the men. And although most of the storylines were connected, the mining sections seemed a bit re ...more
Jul 31, 2016 Andrea rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
I picked this book up at a thrift store for 50 cents. It looked interesting and I had never read anything by Fred Mustard Stewart before so I figure 'why not?'. I am always eager to find a new and interesting author. I gave this book 3 stars (out of 5) for various reasons. I will go with the negatives first: 1) The jacket explains that the story will follow 5 penniless immigrants, from varied countries, who come to live in America and make their way initially through Ellis Island at the beginnin ...more
Jul 02, 2014 Carol rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading about the history of the early 1900s and what the immigrants had to face as they entered their new surroundings, but the fictionalized parts of the story were quite unbelievable, especially when trying to tie up loose ends in the final chapter. The author also did way too much foreshadowing. There were no surprises.

As far as I can tell, Stewart did seem to accurately portray life during this era - covering topics such as poverty, politics, prejudice, music, unions, morality, a
Donna Zigmont
May 19, 2014 Donna Zigmont rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book.I've read a few of the authors other books as well.I liked that the characters who came over on the ship didn't all end up living on the same street in the same neighborhood.And I also liked that they made mistakes and didn't become succesful right away,each had to work at it.I didn't like the character Nellie,she was a piece of work.And I didn't care for Monty Staunton or Bill Fargo either,they were both pieces of work.The one thing that did disappoint me with the sto ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Judith rated it liked it
Started out as a very interesting book telling what life was like for the immigrants coming through Ellis Island. We are introduced to the characters, told their reasons for leaving their country, and their immigrant experience in America. Then things began to slow down and the book wasn't too different from any early 20th century novel. However, I am glad I read it. I was fascinated by the penniless people who came to a land of hope and challenge.
As I said in another review, there weren't many books around.
Ellis Island was a damn good history book (forget the fictionalised part) about USA immigration at the beginning of the 20th century. I was so impressed by it that I certainly did not miss to visit Ellis Island when I was in New York in 1999.
Jun 14, 2015 Karen rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Not great literature, and fairly predictable, but the author has done his homework and provides excellent and definitive context for the time period (height of Irish immigration to America near the turn of the 19th century).
Maria Gerardy
May 04, 2016 Maria Gerardy rated it really liked it
Loved the history, class warfare, immigrant experience. American Dream at its finest. Will read other works by this author. Did seem to end abruptly. This author does his homework.
Rob Cohen
May 19, 2015 Rob Cohen rated it liked it
I read this so long ago, I think I got it from my grandmother's house-- I seem to recall enjoying it...
Mar 08, 2014 Menus67 rated it it was amazing
Great fiction on early immigration on the east coast
Jan 08, 2012 Al rated it really liked it
An excellent novel recounting the lives of five immigrants from Russian, Bohemia, Italy and Ireland who enter the US through Ellis Island during the first decade of the twentieth century. The book is very-well researched and the author provides a vivid portrait of America during the early decades of the twentieth century....ranging from the terrible poverty of many all the way through the incredible wealth amassed by many in the era immediately preceding the institution of the federal income tax ...more
Sue Getman
Feb 04, 2016 Sue Getman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sep 02, 2013 Suzy rated it really liked it
Who says historical fiction needs to be "literary"? This mass-market flash-back to early 1900's New York City was a quick read full of short sentences and cheap thrills. The author did a good job in bringing the setting to life, the characters had enough heart to be interesting and their hijinks were timeless. Fun read.
May 15, 2009 Rina rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that doesn't take too much thought because there really isn't all that much insight but it really is a good story. The story is rich and compelling. It captured my imagination and heart.

It's a great one for a plane ride or a beach stay.
Nov 07, 2014 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. This book isn't anything groundbreaking, but it's a nice story of immigrants who came through Ellis Island and some of the hardships they faced. It was extremely unrealistic at points, but the story was decent and I really enjoyed it.
May 04, 2008 Roman rated it it was amazing
WOW! talk about an intresting story this book takes you through two young immigrant friends story on becoming apart of the "Golden Paved" streets of america, But it seems that to live where the "Maids have Maids" wasnt as simple as it seemed.
Oct 12, 2012 Du rated it liked it
There is nothing spectacular about this book. It was fun, a creative story and well paced. The writing is good, but isn't literary genius. Overall, this is a solid book worth testing if you like historical fiction.
May 12, 2012 Dayle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than expected story of five immigrants and their lives, loves & fortunes after coming through Ellis Island.
Sarah Sammis
Oct 29, 2008 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
Another one I read while camping. Actually I've read it an number of times and I still enjoy it.
Feb 27, 2014 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting view of New York in the early 20th century
Celene Swagler
Aug 02, 2011 Celene Swagler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
LOVE LOVE LOVE this book.
Jun 29, 2011 Holle' added it
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Danelle Cale marked it as to-read
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Zeljka Vracevic
Zeljka Vracevic rated it it was amazing
Aug 27, 2016
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Aug 09, 2016
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Fred Mustard Stewart was an American novelist. His most popular books were The Mephisto Waltz (1969), adapted for a 1971 film starring Alan Alda; Six Weeks (1976), made into a 1982 film starring Mary Tyler Moore; Century, a New York Times best-seller in 1981; and Ellis Island (1983), which became a CBS mini-series in 1984.

Stewart graduated from Princeton University in 1954. He originally planned t
More about Fred M. Stewart...

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