Grace's Pictures, Ellis Island Series #1 -eBook
Grace McCaffery has all her eggs in one basket - America. Torn away from her mother at a young age, then forced to labor at a workhouse, Grace has had everything but an easy life in Ireland. Her mother married an Irish peeler, (also known as a policeman), and S.P. Feeny sponsors Grace to America. Excited to have an opportunity to begin an independent life and make enough money to bring her mother over from Ireland, Grace sees the future as an adventure waiting to happen.
But of course, nothing ever works out the way she plans. Even after she gets a job as a nanny for a middle-class family, Grace buys a brownie camera to take snapshots and earn extra money. But it seems that no matter where she aims her lens, she is always capturing images that endanger her life and those of her charges. When her camera inadvertently takes a picture of a gang boss and she is being pursued for the portrait, will she be able to trust a policeman to keep her out of harms's way? Will she learn the courage and forgiveness in the faith her mother has tried to pass down to her?
While I love Christian fiction, I was a little unsure of this novel at first. The setting was the all too familiar Ellis island, with an Irish immigrant as the main character of the story. But Thompson quickly won me over with the introduction to "The Hawk", and the many quirky saying of her deceased husband, Mr. Hawkins. Then, the children came along, and I was instantly in love. Between the struggling rich boy turned cop, Officer McNulty, the historically accurate gang called the "Dusters" and the day-to-day struggles and fears faced by a young woman alone in a new country, this book will appeal to not only history buffs but Christian fiction readers alike. A wonderful read, and one I hope turns into a series.
This book was provided for free by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
December 21, 2013
Didn't Meet Expectations
Grace is an Irish young lady who travels the ocean to find a new life in America. When Grace arrives to New York she is captured on camera by a gentleman and so begins her interest in still pictures. Grace buys her first camera, a Brownie from Kodak, to be able to take snapshots of memorable moments. But when Grace is out in a park one day she happens to point her camera in the wrong direction and has a run-in with local gangsters called "The Dusters." Having had a traumatic time with the police force in her home country, Grace is hesitant to seek help from the New York Police department.
Owen McNulty, a New York Police Officer, is committed to helping those less fortunate and strives to "clean up" New York from crime, but Grace has a hard time believing he is genuine. Owen is quite taken with Grace, but is somewhat confused by her cold and disinterested attitude towards him. As he continues to be there for Grace during her struggles she begins to wonder if Owen is truly different from the other selfish policemen that she's had to deal with all of her life.
As Grace lives each day she must learn to place her faith and trust in unlikely sources to learn the true meaning of courage and forgiveness.
I had such high hopes for this book - the cover alone caught my attention and then when I read the back cover I thought for sure this would be a great read. Unfortunately, by the time I got to the middle of the book all I could think of was "Will I ever finish this?" The first part of the book seem to move at a good pace telling the story of Grace and sharing her pain and heartaches from working in a poor house and having to deal with dishonest cops. Then when she gets to New York we find that the most of the policemen there are just as crooked as they were in Ireland which gives Grace a low-view of men in general. She meets Owen McNulty, the honest Police Officer, and has a hard time letting her guard down with him, but when he is always there for her when she is in trouble it seems like maybe some romance will ignite, but then throughout the book they begin to have less and less contact with each other so that by the time they do realize their feelings for each other it seems a little forced. Grace is offered a position with a family, the Parker's, that has many "issues" from the mother not feeling like a mother and giving her children no love or interest to the father wanting his family to not be failures and not show emotion. Grace comes alongside this family as a nanny and begins to discover herself; she begins to see that she can be strong when she is scared. On to the gangsters called "The Dusters"... For me, they were not quite believable. The characters just didn't quite add up to what a gangster would have been like back then. All in all, I would give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. For me, the story fell flat.
*I was given a free copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers for an honest review.
All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received.*
January 22, 2014
Grace's Pictures is about a young Irish woman who immigrates to America. She arrives in New York City trying to fit in a busy city. She finds herself buying herself a Brownie camera. Which leads her to trouble.
I liked Grace's Pictures. I liked seeing what my Irish ancestors went through when they first come to their new American home. I love the historical value of the story. I found I really like the character of Grace. Such a strong young woman. I would give this book 4 and half stars.
December 12, 2013
Plot: The plot of this book was actually interesting. It had so much in it that I wasn't expecting. It had several dimensions to it that gave the story depth.
Characters: You really did get to see Grace transform throughout this story. From the little girl in Ireland to the confident woman in America, she literally transforms as you read this story.
Themes: The main theme in this book is trust. Grace had to learn how to trust the police even after her experiences as a child. She also had to learn how to trust God and that He would make a way for her.
Emotion: The characters themselves had a lot of emotion, however, it didn't really translate off the pages of the book.
Overall: I have to admit that I didn't think I was going to like this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. There were so many elements to it that it was enjoyable to read and it wasn't overly romantic and predictable. It was actually, quite unpredictable and kept me guessing the whole way through.
---I received this book for free from the publisher for this review.---
November 12, 2013