Daily Archives: June 5, 2012

Review: ‘City of Hope’ by Kate Kerrigan

This is the sequel to Kate Kerrigan’s ‘Ellis Island’, which was a TV Book Club choice a couple of years ago.

In Ellie Hogan, Kerrigan created a compelling character and it was with pleasure that I read this, the second part in Ellie’s story.

After her beloved husband John passes away suddenly, Ellie returns to New York City, looking to rediscover the love and passion she found when she previously worked there. What she finds is friendship, courage and the opportunity for forgiveness.

Ellie Hogan is a true hero in my eyes, she’s a woman before her time and her business acumen is really inspiring. However, the pleasure of Kate Kerrigan’s writing is that she doesn’t sanctify Ellie – she shows her as scared, indecisive as well as kind-hearted. This makes Kerrigan’s work an enjoyable read: her characters are human and that’s something a lot of writers forget to do.

‘City of Hope’ could be an allegory for present-day hardships and Kerrigan’s writing is very intelligent. The description of Ellie’s native Ireland paints a beautiful picture. It’s intricate and inspiring, with real heart.

I enjoyed the recurrence of certain characters, particularly Bridie, the gruff matriarch Ellie encountered on her first trip to Manhattan.

This is a story of grief, family, humour and friendships – there’s even the odd bit of crime thrown in. A perfect read.

Vic x