Grace McCaffrey leaves Ireland to start a new life in America. When she arrives at Ellis Island a photographer asks permission to take her picture. Grace hesitantly agrees and she accepts a business card from the photographer in case she would like to have the photo once it is developed. As she settles into her new life in New York she is inspired by the photographer and decides to buy her very own Brownie camera. As Grace ventures out to the streets of New York she is eager to take photos of unsuspecting pedestrians. This does not set to well when she may have taken a picture of a known gang and their leader. The gangsters are determined to get the camera from her which puts her in danger.
When she lived in Ireland she abhorred the police. She never trusted them in Ireland and refused to trust them in America because most of them were Irish. It seemed one policeman had taken it upon himself to see to her safety and it did not hurt that her found her very attractive. He convinced her to let him escort her to and from her nanny job as means of protection.
Will Grace ever trust men, especially the Irish policeman. She was even afraid to trust God.
The author has added an interesting element which was the Brownie camera along the presumption that a woman in 1900 would dare to venture into the field of photography. Some of the characters the author has worked into the story are known historical figures. I am always eager to learn something new about our American history.
This story is full of suspense that will have you holding your breathe at times. There is also the stirrings of romance. But most important there is forgiveness and reconciliation. God does not turn from this woman even when she turned from Him. The author writes of how God reveals His path for these characters.
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. This review is my own opinion.
Grace's Pictures, by Cindy Thompson, is the first book in the Ellis Island Novel series. It is the story of a young Irish immigrant and a New York City police officer.
Grace McCaffery arrives at Ellis Island confused by the required procedures and the huge crowd. But as she settles in to her new home and becomes more confidant, she decides to order a Brownie camera. Unbeknownst to Grace, she takes a picture of a local gangster while practicing taking pictures and puts herself at risk. As she becomes aware of the situation, she tries to avoid the gang, do well in her new job as a nanny, and find a way to bring her mother to America. Owen McNulty, a local police officer and member of the church Grace attends, has a difficult time keeping Grace safe while catching the gang that threatens his section of the city. This is made especially difficult with Grace's extreme distrust of policemen.
I enjoyed this book. Grace's fear toward policemen brings to mind our own misplaced fears. I felt that the characters were realistic, making me sympathize with their feelings as I read. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction from the turn of the century.
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
I had mixed feelings about this book. It did hold my interest, but a lot of things didn't really add up for me in a way that I'd really love it.
I think my main problem was with Grace herself. I just didn't "get" her. Because she and her mother were evicted and sent to the poorhouse by policemen, she doesn't trust any of them, and that grated a little. I mean, what happened was horrible...but it wasn't exactly their fault. They were just doing their job. Her ideas would be understandable for someone younger, but at nineteen I sort of think one should be over that. So I just didn't really have much sympathy for her there- or for her wanting to "rescue" her mother from her husband, just because he was with the police.
Also, I didn't understand why Grace's mother never took her out of the poorhouse. Her mother had married, and from the end of the book we see that her new husband is a nice man- why did they send Grace off to America instead of letting her live with them? I didn't really understand that, and her mother's explanation didn't make sense to me.
I was pleased with the way the story with the Parkers ended (well, to an extent). I felt the romance aspect of the novel was a little lacking, although for once I was pleased that the story didn't end with a wedding or engagement- romance with Officer McNulty was just hinted at, so they really didn't know each other well enough yet.
Grace's Pictures was a book I really wanted to love...but I wasn't impressed. It wasn't terrible, but I'm not particularly anxious to read the next books in the Ellis Island series.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Newly arrived from Ireland, Grace learns to take pictures with her new camera, but gangsters think she took a picture of them. A policeman wants to help Grace, but she distrusts all police, and must decide who she can trust.
I liked this story of Grace. She seems timid upon her arrival in New York City, but circumstances force her to have courage. There were many characters in the book, and the reader had to decide if some were good or bad. The parts about the police corruption and using a camera were rather interesting.
A sweet historical novel with a touch of danger that keeps you reading until the end.
I love history so when I saw this book featured a heroine from Ireland, my favorite country to read about outside of the U.S., I jumped at the chance to review it.
Grace's Pictures brought up some I history that I, quite frankly, had never thought of. Sitting here with my little touch-screen Nikon with its pink case and Marylin Monroe neck strap, I never really thought about what it would be like for people when the Brownie box camera was first introduced. "So easy even a child can use it", those are some pretty empowering words if you really think about it. Now anyone could take photos, forever capturing the smile of a loved one or a scenic view that you wished to remember for years to come. Along with the newfound freedom came a question of ethics, loss of privacy, and even danger if you photographed the wrong person. We sure have come a long way since 1900.
Another piece of History that I hadn't thought much about involved Tammany Hall. I had heard of Tammany Hall before and the widespread corruption, but I hadn't really thought that there might have been a few honest cops that didn't knuckle under. The hero of Grace's Pictures, Owen, is one such cop.
This book is not Historical Romance. Historical, yes, but not overly romantic. Grace's Pictures is more about Grace, herself. Grace has a lot to learn, about...everything. With her emotional growth stunted by years of verbal abuse, first from her father, and then at the workhouse, she is torn screaming from her mother and then unable to see her for years. She is sent to America, an alien country, where she has to mature and learn to take care of not only herself, but the children she nannies for. Grace has to learn to trust others, herself, and most importantly, God.
Will Grace learn to trust and find the inner strength that only God can give, in time to save herself and the others now in danger because of her? My suggestion is to read this book and find out!
(I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.)