Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ellis Island (Ellis Island, #1)” as Want to Read:
Ellis Island (Ellis Island, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Ellis Island (Ellis Island #1)

by
3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  2,196 ratings  ·  341 reviews
Sweethearts since childhood, Ellie Hogan and her husband, John, are content on their farm in Ireland—until John, a soldier for the Irish Republican Army, receives an injury that leaves him unable to work. Forced to take drastic measures in order to survive, Ellie does what so many Irish women in the 1920s have done and sails across a vast ocean to New York City to work as...more
Paperback, 356 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published October 2nd 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Maren
Maybe it is a little harsh to only give it one star, but the last half (third?) of the book was so ANNOYING that I completely gave up on it. I have so little patience for whiny women who have a wonderful marriage but they just happen to meet an eligible (rich) bachelor who through no fault of hers, I mean it was just innocent flirting, falls in love with her, but she stands her ground and says she is happily married, so they are just best buddies, completely platonic, nothing wrong with that, no...more
Diane
Oct 19, 2011 Diane marked it as to-read
Ellie Hogan, the protagonist in Ellis Island is an unforgettable, timeless character. Though set in the 1920s, her struggle between independence and family loyalty, between a modern life in New York and a traditional life back in Ireland, is one that many women today will relate to.

Two key scenes take place on Ellis Island, in the huge building where immigrants were ushered through interviews and health inspections before being allowed into the United States. Anyone who has visited the building,...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
All of us dream someday to find the perfect person to marry. Sometimes we find that person in our very best friend we have grown up with. Now much older we see them in a different light. Once just someone who we would climb trees with, scour the land for small animals and even walk us home from school, now they have matured into something much more. We shared a friendship and a love that isn't known until you find it in your best friend like John Hogan and Ellie Flaherty.

Ellie's spent her childh...more
Mary Gramlich
ELLIS ISLAND by Kate Kerrigan
06/11 - HarperCollins Publishers - Paperback, 368 pages

Will your heart always find its way home?

Poverty and despair will drive you to make decisions that otherwise you thought impossible. Ellie had to get money so her husband John could have an operation to repair the damage done during an Irish insurrection.

The last place Ellie wanted to leave was Ireland and the worst place to go to would be America. But America had the promise of a well-paying job and the opportun...more
Tara Chevrestt
This is not really about Ellis Island.. It is about the American Dream though, and Ellis Island was at one time, the first stepping stone to achieving that.

The first quarter of the novel takes place in Ireland, early 1900s. A very young Ellie, age 8, falls in love with her future husband, John, age 10. They grow up together despite their different families. Ellie even starves herself for five days to make her extremely religious parents realize how much she needs John. John is sweeter than all g...more
Jane
Where I got the book: ARC from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. Its publication date is 6/28/11 according to Amazon.

In 1920s Ireland, Ellie's husband has been injured fighting for his country's freedom. Ellie makes the tough decision to take a job in New York in order to send back enough money for his operation. The new life she makes for herself in the US changes her, and puts her future life in Ireland in doubt.

I'm trying very hard here not to put in any spoilers, as I think it's pretty...more
Jade Keller
This book was an enjoyable read, with a nicely-constructed, fast-moving plot. I love the place in history into which it delves and it's another one opening my eyes to the wide world of historical fiction which, until recently, I had thought was too obsessed with European royalty or heavy, depressing tomes.

This, thankfully is neither, but there are a few quibbles I have that prevent me from giving it the full 5 stars. First, the beginning of the book is a bit spare in the luscious detail of setti...more
Rachel
Reviewed for www.compassbookratings.com

Overall Review: 4 1/2 stars
I fell in love with Ellis Island after finishing just the first chapter. In fact, I often had to remind myself that I was reading historical fiction and not a true account. Author Kate Kerrigan's rich narration, as well as vibrant descriptions, brought this tale to life. Ellie proved to be a brave and realistic heroine and her love story with husband John was tender and beautiful. Readers will enjoy the quiet beauty of the Irish...more
Roz
We always seem to think about people coming to America seeking a new and better life. Never going back to their country of origin. But this couldn’t be completely true. Surely people came for other reasons just as they do today. Of course many came to escape poverty, persecution, politics and the like. But they also came just as Ellie Hogan did, to work and make money to send home to those left behind, to ease their loved ones’ lives, in her case to pay for needed health care.
Not every one stay...more
Michelle
Most immigration stories discuss the reasons one leaves a homeland for a foreign country, the hardships endured along the way and eventually some form of resolution of life in the new country. Everything about Ellis Island breaks the mold of immigration novels and forges its own path. Ultimately, the story is much richer for it.

The first half of the novel follows the traditional story-telling format. Girl meets boy, girl marries boy. The happily-ever-after, however, does not come, as both John...more
Khanh (Kittens, Rainbows, and Sunshine)
Terrible. Whiny, insipid, stupid heroine and an equally unimpressive husband with whom I can't believe she's in love. Equally unbelievable is how she threw away a future to be with a douchebag who does little to support her or her future. She has to go against his wishes to make anything of herself, and clings onto him no matter what opportunities present itself to her. He ruins her future so many times I've lost count. The only redeeming qualities of the book that bumped it up to 2 stars instea...more
Beth
Jul 04, 2011 Beth rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Beth by: Amazon
Based on the description I couldn't wait for this book to be released and was very excited to start reading once it downloaded into my kindle.. Very disappointed though, I never cared about any of the characters. There was so much historical material to cover that the author just touched upon bits and pieces. Was it about Irish history of the 1920? New York history? Women's rights? the financial boon of the 20s? Some of it was narration, some of the story was told in letters but there were huge...more
Jazzfeathers
I picked this story because it presents a few elements I like: it’s an historical novel, it’s set in the Twenties, it has an Irish protagonist. It’s the story of an Irish immigrant to Roaring Twenties America, I thought it was going to be a journey of discovery, not only on the outside, but also on the inside. The contrast between Irish rural life and the boasting modern life of Twenties New York promised to be exiting and interesting.

Uhm…

Maybe I was expecting too much, but where this story pre...more
DubaiReader
Rural life in Ireland vs high life in New York.

My main problem with this book is not the book itself but the excess of information we are given on the back cover. I would have preferred to have been left wondering what decision Ellie would make - whether to embrace her newfound life in New York or return to her childhood sweetheart and the hardships of her native Ireland. If you feel the same way then read no further and don't read the back of the book!

*******************************************...more
Brenda Knight
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were so well developed and interesting. The love story of Ellie and John was so deep and true. The only reason Ellie went to America was to earn money to pay for John's necessary surgery. She was so strong and worked so hard to learn a trade so she could earn more money to send home. I understand why she wanted to stay in New York and wanted John to join her. But I also understood John's position and his reasons to want Ellie to come back to him and the...more
Laura
This book held so much promise for me from the opening line of Chapter One: "The first time I fell in love with John, I was eight and he was ten." I expected to be swept away in John and Ellie's story. I expected to be rooting for their love to survive life's twists and turns. I expected hardships and difficult choices. But alas, this was not to be. Though the story told of Ellie and John's love, the writing didn't convey any real emotion for me, and the characters' behavior seemed inconsistent....more
Teresa
I thoroughly enjoyed Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn so I was instantly drawn to this similar tale of emigration from Kate Kerrigan but are they perhaps too alike to be read so close together? Indeed should they be compared at all given that they are most definitely two different genres?

Anyway, back to Ellis Island for a while at least…our lead character, Eileen, known as Ellie, is forced to leave the abject poverty of her rural Irish background to seek employment in 1920s New York. Whilst she is amazed...more
Alle Wells
Bravo for Ellis Island!
Ellie Hogan's story deserves three cheers for bringing back the Great American Dream that many of us feared was long gone. We follow Ellie's life, brought up in a stern parochial home and escaping as a young girl to marry her childhood sweetheart, John Hogan, a dedicated IRA revolutionary. When John becomes seriously wounded, Ellie flees war-torn and impoverished Ireland, setting sail for America to help her starving family. Her experience as a fresh-faced Irish immigrant...more
MaryannC.Book Fiend
When I first began this book, I admit I wasnt wholeheartedly into it. But,as I started paying attention I couldnt put it down. This is the story of Ellie Hogan who journeys to America from Ireland in hopes of earning money to help her husband pay for a surgery he needs. It is filled with vivid descriptions of an immigrant's journey to find a new life and prosperity in America. In her quest to earn the money she needs, she is torn by the trappings of wealth and sophistication she encounters and s...more
Theresa

I loved this book!

I have Irish in my family, great-great-(not-sure-how-many-time-great)-grandparents, who came over in the mid-1800's and settled here in America. So I already had a deep interest in reading a historical fiction type of novel about what it would have been like to emigrate to America.

What does a woman do when she is torn between love of country and family loyalty?

Eileen did not have a happy childhood. A stern religious father and a mother who did not show outward affection...not a...more
Jules
Yes, I loved this book and it quite poignantly told an emigrant/immigrant story from Ireland to New York from around the decade of the 1920s.

Ellie does not exactly fit the match of the ‘typical emigrant’ in that she wanted to use a trip to America to better her life and prospects but she didn’t count on staying. To give some the novel a more romantic nature and pull, Ellie finds herself caught between earning money to send back to Ireland (to essentially help her injured Irish republican husband...more
Gina Basham
I enjoy historical fiction and this book was no exception. I liked the character development, the attention to detail and the vivid descriptions. I have read reviews, good and bad, based solely on the ending. I think the joy is in the getting there. Whether you liked the ending or not you have to agree the story was well written and engaging. I had no issue with the ending and am looking forward to reading more from this author. I would recommend.
Elizabeth Oladunni
Overall, it was a good book.

To be honest, I didn't plan on reading Ellis Island, it was on sale at the library at a ridiculously cheap price, and I liked the name of the book - so I bought it.

Nonetheless, I did enjoy it. It was a light read, definitely one to read on the beach to pass time. I like the little references to the political climate of Island at that time, but that was not the focus of the book. I have to admit, I think Kerrigan handled the shift in setting brilliantly, I could feel t...more
A. R.
I really liked this book. It wasn't your typical poor girl goes to America and finds love and riches story. In fact, there was such an element of realism to it that I found it refreshing!

Ellis Island is the story of young Irish girl, who grows up and marries her childhood sweetheart. When he is injured fighting for the IRA, she goes to the United States and works to earn money so her husband can have the medical treatment he needs. What was supposed to be a one year separation, turns much longer...more
Jo at Jaffareadstoo
If I could give this lovely book 10 stars I would. Captivated from the opening page I loved the journey made by Ellie, from her childhood in a repressed Catholic home, through her courtship and subsequent marriage to her childhood sweetheart, and her journey of discovery in New York.
The whole book just worked on all levels - one of my favourite reads of the year so far !
Cupoftea
Eileen (Ellie) and John loved each other from childhood. Ellie's parents were not affectionate people. John is an orphan raised by his warm and loving aunt and uncle. They marry and John is injured in the fight for Irish independance. Ellie sails off to the United States to work as a maid to pay for John's surgery. She falls in love with the American life she has. It's a far cry from rural Irish poverty. Although she begs John to come he is Irish to the core. When forced to return Ellie once mor...more
Carol
This was a selection for my book club & that's the only reason I read this trite novel. SPOILER ALERT. The reason it was a quick read is because the author would introduce a topic or a character, give it a few pages and move on. I got tired of the main character, Ellie. Maybe she was just supposed to be a confused young woman. She meets her future husband at age 8 in Ireland during the 1920's - they grow up & elope - she goes to America to earn money - falls in love with NY - becomes a s...more
Bert
I really enjoyed this book! It gave me a look into Ireland in the 1920's. I really look forward to a sequel to see how Ellie's life continues! Thanks Goodreads for a great read!
James
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were perfectly created and made to feel real with both strengths and flaws. No one in this novel is perfect. The emotions expressed in this book are realistic and relatable. Seeing everything through the eyes of Ellie was fascinating with ample descriptions of her surroundings which brought the book to life. The contrast between New York and Ireland is startling. If I had to pick a flaw with this book, it would be that the "lessons" of the book were poi...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Coffee Talk: Oct 2014 Book of the Month--Ellis Island 21 13 Oct 15, 2014 08:05AM  
  • The Man Who Disappeared
  • When We Were Strangers
  • Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry
  • Galway Bay
  • The Daughter's Walk
  • Prima Donna
  • The Queen's Dollmaker
  • The Rebellion of Jane Clarke
  • The Bed I Made
  • The Herbalist
  • The Sandalwood Tree
  • The Angel Makers
  • Far Horizons (The Emigrants Trilogy, #1)
  • The Mine (Northwest Passage #1)
  • May the Road Rise Up to Meet You
  • The Legacy
  • Pictures of the Past
  • A Race to Splendor
450229

Kate Kerrigan is an author living and working in Ireland. Her novels are Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, The Miracle of Grace, Ellis Island, City of Hope, Land of Dreams and The Lost Garden.

Kate began her career as an editor and journalist, editing many of Britain’s most successful young women’s magazines before returning to her native Ireland in the 1990’s to edit Irish Tatler. She writes a weekl...more
More about Kate Kerrigan...
City of Hope (Ellis Island, #2) Recipes for a Perfect Marriage The Miracle Of Grace Dancing With Mules Land of Dreams: A Novel

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“In this way, I was able to place my own concerns aside and curl myself up in the cocoon of somebody else's imagination. My life was suspended - I was in neither one place nor the other.” 11 likes
More quotes…