BKMT READING GUIDES

The Next Ship Home
by Heather Webb

Published: 2022-02-08T00:0
Paperback : 432 pages
3 members reading this now
2 clubs reading this now
1 member has read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
As the two women face the misdeeds of a system known to manipulate and abuse immigrants searching for new hope in America, they form an unlikely friendship?and share a terrible secret?altering their fates and the lives of the immigrants who come after them.

This is a novel of the dark ...

No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

As the two women face the misdeeds of a system known to manipulate and abuse immigrants searching for new hope in America, they form an unlikely friendship?and share a terrible secret?altering their fates and the lives of the immigrants who come after them.

This is a novel of the dark secrets of Ellis Island, when entry to "the land of the free" promised a better life but often delivered something drastically different, and when immigrant strength and female friendship found ways to triumph even on the darkest days.

Editorial Review

No Editorial Review Currently Available

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

1. Discuss Francesca’s reasons for leaving Italy. What circumstances would cause you to leave your home?
2. Francesca is warned that some immigrant women have been funneled into workhouses or servitude by scam artists. How does the immigration process make people more vulnerable? What protections would you suggest to prevent these types of exploitation?
3. Describe Alma’s mother Johanna. How does her own security compete with her children’s needs? Do you think she could have stood up to Robert more?
4. Francesca and Maria are first denied entry to the U.S. because they have no male relatives to meet them and no employment arranged. What was the reasoning behind these limiting policies? How do they compare to modern immigration requirements?
5. Alma’s first instinct is to report all types of corruption she sees—from the vendor giving incorrect change, to matrons resorting to physical violence. Still, her coworkers repeatedly convince her not to say anything. What persuaded her to keep quiet? Would you have done something different in her place?
6. As she confesses her sins, Francesca hopes that her God would understand her intentions. At the time of each “sin,” she felt she was making the only choice available to her. Do you think she acted immorally throughout the book? Why or why not?
7. Most of the Ellis Island staff disdains Commissioner Williams when he takes charge. Did he deserve their distrust? How do the opinions of her coworkers shape Alma’s interactions with the commissioner?
8. Francesca agrees to help her coworker Janie find the rat in her bedroom, knowing that it might curb some of Janie’s cruel behavior. Would you have helped Janie? Are there circumstances where helping others—or making yourself indispensable to them—is not a worthwhile strategy?
9. Alma is appalled to discover that her coworkers were already aware of John Lambert’s mistreatment of immigrant women. How did his position and the criminalization of sex work protect him from consequences? Do you think the coworkers that turned a blind eye share responsibility for his crimes?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "A do not miss for historical fiction fans"by Silversolara (see profile) 02/08/22

We all know of Ellis Island, but do we really know what it was like and what went on?

Millions of immigrants passed through Ellis Island, but they all didn't make it into the land that pr

... (read more)

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search




FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...