Publication date: June 25, 2013 by William Morrow
Source: ARC provided by publisher via TLC Book Tours for an honest review
The heartrending and inspiring sequel to Ellis Island, Kate Kerrigan’s City of Hope is an uplifting story of a woman truly ahead of her time
When her beloved husband suddenly dies, young Ellie Hogan decides to leave Ireland and return to New York, where she worked in the 1920s. She hopes that the city will distract her from her anguish. But the Great Depression has rendered the city unrecognizable. Gone are the magic and ambiance that once captured Ellie’s imagination.
Plunging headfirst into a new life, Ellie pours her passion and energy into running a refuge for the homeless. Her calling provides the love, support, and friendship she needs in order to overcome her grief—until, one day, someone Ellie never thought she’d see again steps through her door. It seems that even the vast Atlantic Ocean isn’t enough to keep the tragedies of the past from catching up with her.
When I agreed to review City of Hope, I didn't realize that it was a sequel to Ellis Island, but this did not hinder my enjoyment of the book at all. There is enough background given throughout the book that I didn't feel I was missing anything from the previous book and by the time I finished reading City of Hope, I had determined that I would have to read Ellis Island just because I wanted to read more about Ellie.
At first I wasn't sure what I thought about Ellie - she was so different from the other people in her town and definitely not like her husband, who wanted a quiet life on his farm. Ellie just wanted more from life. She is independent and very strong-willed - things I admire and encourage in my own daughters. Ellie seemed to be trying to adapt herself to this smaller, quieter life, but it was hard on her. She had ambition and dreams. I felt so sorry for her in her grief and guilt over her husband's sudden death. Her reaction to his death was extreme, and I couldn't really understand quite that drastic a move, but I could understand her desire to distract herself from the pain.
Her return to New York City didn't turn out quite the way she had imagined. The city was a completely different place than she remembered from her earlier trip - the Great Depression was in full force and life in the city wasn't the full time party she remembered. I enjoyed reading about how Ellie made all her plans come to life and how she managed to help so many families. The down-on-their-luck families were interesting and diverse and I enjoyed that Ellie learned from each one of them. She helped them when they were in a bind, but they also helped Ellie work through her grief and she could count on them when needed. I loved reading about this little community that developed and grew and then managed to sustain itself.
I am hoping there will be another book that tells the further adventures that Ellie has. She has such a head for business and isn't afraid to try things. I think that anyone who enjoys historical fiction, books with strong, independent women and/or reading about the Depression or Ireland will enjoy this book.
About Kate KerriganKate Kerrigan is the author of three previous novels. She lives in Ireland with her husband and their two sons.
Visit Kate’s website at www.katekerrigan.ie and follow her on Twitter: @katekerrigan.
Kate’s Tour StopsTuesday, June 25th: bookchickdi
Wednesday, June 26th: Books in the City
Wednesday, June 26th: Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, June 27th: Tina’s Book Reviews
Friday, June 28th: Diary of an Eccentric
Monday, July 1st: A Book Geek
Wednesday, July 3rd: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, July 4th: 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
Monday, July 8th: Dwell in Possibility
Tuesday, July 16th: Peppermint PhD
Monday, July 22nd: Becca’s Byline
Tuesday, July 23rd: The House of the Seven Tails
Thursday, July 25th: The Maiden’s Court