Bows Bangles & Bakes Book Review

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

I've always been a bookworm, although for the last few months I never seemed to find the time. Recently I've managed to get back into reading again (I think I kinda owe this to Alex) in my daily life and not just on holiday.
You may remember I mentioned that I had just finished reading Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan. I really enjoyed this book and its not something I would have automatically picked up myself. As reading has always been a big part of my life, I wanted to start doing more book related posts on my blog, so this is going to be my first go at a book review!
Ellis Island was given to me as a present from a friend, whom I went to New York with. Whilst we were there we actually visited Ellis Island, what was previously the City's Mass Immigration Centre, now a Memorial.. One of the things I loved most about this book was it gave a story to the the rooms and artifacts I had seen myself. As good as the 'attraction' is, I don't think it really gave me a feel for what happens at Ellis Island the way it does in the book (I almost wish I had read this first!)
Ellis Island is the story of Ellie Hogan, who goes to America to earn enough money, to pay for her beloved husband's surgery, after he is injured during the Irish Civil War. The story moves from impoverished Ireland, to the wealth and glamour of 1920s New York.
I did find this book quite slow to get going - without going into too much detail, the book initially begins by setting the story of how Ellie falls in love with her childhood sweetheart, and it takes some time to progress to Ellie taking the trip to the Big Apple. Once this section of the book begins however, the story moves fairly quickly, and is paced well, to keep the readers interest ,of how Ellie survives America, and its technological advances, but all the while reminding you that her heart and soul remains left behind in Ireland.
One of the interesting elements of the book, is the advances in technology, that are well detailed in description ,and the differences in attitudes in America, to those seen in Ireland. The elements of the story set in Ireland remind the reader of the simple things in life, such as love and family, whereas New York, takes the reader to a place of consumerism, indulgence, and the opportunities wealth can bring. Kate Kerrigan contrasts these two elements fantastically, and leave you questioning where your own heart lies - wealth and glamour, or love and simplicity?
Despite the slow start, I really enjoyed this book, and couldn't wait to reach the conclusion. I felt the story ended nicely, however, I have recently discovered that Ellis Island is the first book in a trilogy, City of Hope, and the final title Land of Dreams is due for release this Springand I can't wait to get my hands on both!
Have you read Ellis Island? Would you consider reading it now?


  1. I'm a book geek too, and proud! Always nice to find other bloggers that love the books! Enjoyed reading your review :) I do book reviews on my blog all the time and really love writing them.

    jemm xoxo

    1. Thanks Jemm - I'll certianly be taking a look out for your book reviews in future!

  2. I am a total bookworm, not sure this is a book I would read, but I do love reading book reviews xx

  3. Lovely post + pictures! Great blog you have here. I'm your newest follower :) Would you mind checking out our blog & following back via GFC and Bloglovin'? Looking forward to your next post! xx

  4. Hello hello :) This book sounds like my cuppa tea, I love historical fiction! Ellis Island is such an interesting subject matter too, and the 20s. Looking forward to meeting you at the end of the March :) xx

  5. I haven't heard of this book until now but it sounds amazing! I'm putting it on my Goodreads list :) Found you through your comment from the blog hop. Thanks for following!

    1. I hope you enjoy reading it if you get around to reading it!


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