• The Next Ship Home

  • A Novel of Ellis Island
  • By: Heather Webb
  • Narrated by: Kathryn Markey
  • Length: 13 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (188 ratings)

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The Next Ship Home  By  cover art

The Next Ship Home

By: Heather Webb
Narrated by: Kathryn Markey
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Publisher's Summary

Ellis Island, 1902: Two women band together to hold America to its promise: "Give me your tired, your poor...." 

Ellis Island, 1902. Francesca arrives on the shores of America, her sights set on a better life than the one she left in Italy. That same day, aspiring linguist Alma reports to her first day of work at the immigrant processing center. Ellis, though, is not the refuge it first appears thanks to President Roosevelt's attempts to deter crime. Francesca and Alma will have to rely on each other to escape its corruption and claim the American dreams they were promised. 

A thoughtful historical inspired by true events, this novel probes America's history of prejudice and exclusion - when entry at Ellis Island promised a better life but often delivered something drastically different, immigrants needed strength, resilience, and friendship to fight for their futures.

©2022 Heather Webb (P)2022 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Next Ship Home

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fully human and timely immigrant story of the heart

This book is so timely, with its focus on the immigrant experience. But it’s also a story of the heart, exposing our human frailties and failings, showing how brave we are, bringing to life the fight to endure, the strife to shake off the old way of ignoring wrongs and rewarding abusers of power.

Francesca escapes with her sister, Marie, to America, but nothing is like she’d imagined, starting with the boat trip over. Soon she meets Alma, a woman who is deep in her own misery. Is there room in Alma’s heart to help another—one of thousands suffering? Maybe not, for Alma has her own problems, with a step-father who doesn’t want her and who seemingly has no power over her own life.

Webb brings these two women and their families and friends to life, while also showing us the horrors that were Ellis Island, the in between land of immigrants. Wonderful! Enjoyed the audio.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not as great as I had hoped.

I found it dragged on in so many places, especially the middle of the book. I ended up speeding up the narration in numerous places just to get the story moving along. And then it ended so quickly. What happened to Lambert? What about Mrs. Keller...and what about Jeremy? The author really dropped the ball on giving a satisfying conclusion to the lesser characters.
I also found that it really did not teach me anything new nor did it encourage me to go google for more information.
I also found the book predictable - you saw what was coming with Mrs. Lancaster, you knew what was going to happen to Francesca. And also the final ending- where Alma and Francesca and Fritz were concerned.. But still, I think the author left us hanging.
The narration was good, my only complaint is the tone of the narration was not changed for male characters.
Would I recommend it? Sure, but not highly. Pleasant enough read, but easy to put down.

1 person found this helpful

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Good story

I enjoyed this book, a little predictable and therefore was a little long. Liked the ending.

1 person found this helpful

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Immigrants arrive at Ellis Island, but do not find what they hoped

1902 Ellis Island-Leaving Italy hoping for a better live Francesca Ricci and her sister Maria make their way to America. They have traveled as third-class passengers on a boat and the conditions were horrible. Food and water was scare, disease and rats abound. When they arrive at Ellis Island Maria is sick, but they both need to pass a medical check at Ellis Island to gain entry to America.
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Alma, an aspiring linguist starts working at the immigrant processing center. She was sent to work by her stepfather but was not prepared for what she witnesses. It becomes very clear that corruption is part of the process in the decision making on who stays and who goes. The ladies meet and have to rely on each other to get through some very dark times. Who will survive? What sacrifices will each have to make?
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Ellis Island was a dream for a better life and the promises were spoken. Unfortunately many immigrants did not have a smooth transition because of the corruption, expectations, disappointments, bribery and horrible conditions by many. This was a wonderful novel, and shows how people are resilient, even under the worst circumstances. #friendship, #ellisisland, #heatherwebb, #sourcelandmark, #netgalley, #arc, #bookreview, #bookstagram, #booksconnectus, #stamperlady50

1 person found this helpful

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Sappy and overdramatic

The story was very predictable and the overdramatic narration made it difficult to listen to.

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Excellent!! Could not stop listening

An excellent book from the very first page. All I wanted to do is to continue listening, what a great story!!

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My family

My deceased husband’s family were immigrants, first his father, three years later, mother and three children followed, settling in San Francisco. This book really gave me a sense of their journey, bringing that part of their story to light.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I couldn’t wait until I had time to listen to the rest of the story.

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Emotional

In The Last Ship Home by Heather Webb the reader is transported back to 1902 on Ellis Island. Webb has so gracefully put in words so that one can imagine themselves among the immigrants and moving along the streets and subways of New York City. The reader will follow the lives of Francesca and Alma, you'll see how their friendship blossoms as they encounter sexual harassment, death and rape and of course the read is also heartwarming. The reader will enjoy the message that every story has more than one side. We can base our own life experiences with these two ladies. We all worry about how we are received by others. Most importantly it is that life isn't always black and white.

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Predictable

Would have liked more facts about Ellis Island and characters that were less predictable. I found it boring.

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The Next Ship Home

‘read this book for our monthly book club meeting. Looking forward to great discussion on it. Truly enjoyed this book. Well written. Easy listening to the narrator.