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Customer Reviews for Tyndale House Annie's Stories, Ellis Island Series #2

Tyndale House Annie's Stories, Ellis Island Series #2

The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment-they're a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.

But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie-and in her father's unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.

Average Customer Rating:
4.429 out of 5
4.4
 out of 
5
(7 Reviews) 7
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7 out of 7100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Annie's Stories, Ellis Island Series #2
Review 1 for Annie's Stories, Ellis Island Series #2
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Historical Interest Scattered Throughout

Date:July 20, 2014
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Anonymous
Location:Columbus, GA
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
"Annie’s Stories" is a novel about a young woman working as a housekeeper in New York City in 1901. A recent immigrant from Ireland, she’s looking for a place to call home. She dreams of opening a library in her father’s memory someday.
There were a lot of elements that I liked about this book. The women of Hawkins House, where Annie lived, were an interesting assortment of characters. Seeing New York City in the early 1900’s through the eyes of a postman was intriguing, too. And I loved learning about the publishing industry, the Wizard of Oz, the Magdalene laundries, the Pinkerton detectives, and the Irish seanchai. Annie’s Stories has a lot to offer those interested in history.
The story itself, though, was missing something. Both main characters (Annie, the housekeeper, and Stephen, the postman) were passive. The story happened to them. Both were frustrated and bitter about events of their past. Both were anxious about what their futures might hold. But neither did much of anything to contribute to the story. Instead, supporting characters brought them information or created problems for them to wonder about. For the most part, these other characters did all the work while Annie and Stephen watched, figured out what it all meant for them, and, occasionally made a wrong decision in the name of self-interest.
Tyndale House Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this honest review. I was hoping the girl on the cover would find her own grand adventure. I was thankful, at least, that she did discover home.
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Review 2 for Annie's Stories, Ellis Island Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Finding home...

Date:July 14, 2014
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Jen Pen
Location:Midwest
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
SUMMARY:
Having a father who was a storyteller, Annie finds delight in obtaining the stories written for her. After her father’s death, Annie flees to safety at Hawkins House in America only to find more trouble brewing and secrets being withheld. Not really wanting to share her deceased father’s memories and stories with the world, Annie must decide if her dreams depend on those stories being published and who can really be trusted…
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Yet another new author for me, I enjoyed the historical style of this story as well as the Irish background. Loosely based on the novel The Wizard of Oz, I appreciated and reveled in the nostalgic feelings associated with finding home, where love truly prevails. Although I did not read the first book in the series, Grace’s Pictures, I did not have any trouble following the storyline. Other characters, a bit of a mystery and of course, a blooming romance, all lent to the overall pleasure of this novel.
RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies
*I received a complimentary copy of Annie’s Stories from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review*
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Review 3 for Annie's Stories, Ellis Island Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Amazing read

Date:July 9, 2014
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KavR
Location:Canada
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Seriously -- you say Irish and story in one sentence and I swoon so it was a shoe-in that I'd want to read this book. And, since I've read Thomson's first book, Grace's Pictures, I knew I was going to love this sequel. Be still my heart -- Irish storytelling and children's literature are at the heart of this intriguing read.
Thomson has done a marvellous job of portraying immigrant life in early twentieth century New York City. The good, the bad and the ugly. So many people bent on beginning a new life as they leave the past (and all its secrets) behind. Annie struggles to replace bitter memories with new ones, but unresolved issues keep sucking her back to a dark time. She grapples with trust and finds it hard to picture God in the midst of her tribulations. This is a story of redemption -- not only for Annie, but for other characters as well.
Like Stephen. An erstwhile hero if ever there was one. A heart of gold, but the impulses of an ox. :-) He wants to help everyone he sees and does so with reckless abandon that often leads to unexpected results, not all of them happy. I wanted to smack him upside the head at one particular point in the story. So like a man to want to act before asking. It's the whole Neanderthal must-fix-everything-so-woman-can-be-happy gene at work in an out of control way. Argh!
Needless to say there's heartache and sorrow within these pages but the thread of hope grows stronger as the story progresses. A truly amazing read.
My thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 4 for Annie's Stories, Ellis Island Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

finding home at last

Date:June 28, 2014
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Kathleen
Location:Missouri
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Annie's Stories by Cindy Thomson, © 2014 an Ellis Island novel
A thoughtfully written story of needs all generations have~to be accepted and protected, to be loved and cherished, and to find our way home.
And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.
--Isaiah 45:3 KJV
Annie Gallagher has been rescued from a life of bondage and sent to America from Ireland, coming through Ellis Island. She becomes a housekeeper at Hawkins House, a boardinghouse for women in Lower Manhattan. Along with her memories, Annie brings handwritten tales her father wrote out for her when he was ill before passing, of the stories he told her as a little girl.
One of my favorite characters throughout was the postman, Stephen Adams. He has a good heart and is kind to the families on his mail route. One thing that surprised me was the post office was more like a messenger transit service, delivering mail more than once a day should parcels or letters come later in the day, rather than collecting and delivering it the next day. When Stephen would come to the Hawkins House, he especially hoped Annie Gallagher would answer his ring at the door. He is unsure of his acceptance by young lasses and it is comical to find what his approach is. He finds out Annie does like his neighbor's sugary dough delights he brings to her. Hoping to find Annie at the Irish dances, he instead comes away with Irish tunes he whistles as he approaches the boardinghouse.
Annie Gallagher longs for the days of storytelling by her da. Independent, to take care of herself, she wants to share these stories with other girls and boys. She is dismayed when she finds Stephen is interested too ~ in her, or solely in her da's stories? Guarded, Annie puts a line around her heart, as she determines direction she is to take in having her da's stories published for reading by others. Stephen lives above a publishing office, which doesn't help matters of the heart to distinguish Stephen's intent in a finder's fee or caring for her protection in their printings.
Interesting as you read Annie's Stories, you may pick up on characteristics of Oz roles within; Dorothy, Tin Woodman, Scarecrow, and Lion. Leaving oppression behind and realizing forgiveness; released from bondage frees enabling the present and future to be lived beyond the past circumstances in life that no longer then can have a hold against God's intention for us.
As mysteries unfold for a new boarder and a parcel she receives, Stephen tries to track it down since it involves the United States Post Office Department and his mail route deliveries to the Lower Manhattan neighborhood. The Hawkins House has many visitors intent on discovering the whereabouts of the package too.
I liked how everyone in the house worked together despite their differences. They come to rely on each other and respect and trust develops. I am looking forward to the next novel by Cindy Thomson.
***Thank you to author Cindy Thomson and Tyndale House for the review print copy of Annie's Stories, Book 2 in her Ellis Island novels, following Grace's Pictures. I am fond of these especially because my ancestors came through Ellis Island. Come along as these immigrants settle in America in her stories, visiting some of the characters from Book 1. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
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Review 5 for Annie's Stories, Ellis Island Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Annie- sharing her story.

Date:June 27, 2014
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Sufficient in Jesus
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A good historical novel will take you back through the years and let you remember a time you never experienced.
Cindy Thomson's Ellis Island series is doing just that.
A great historical novel won't stop there, though, it will also give you characters to befriend while you're in its pages.
Cindy Thomson's books do that as well.
In 2013, I met Grace McCaffrey, Irish immigrant and boarder at Hawkin's House. Grace's story was one of self-discovery and mystery- including a run-in with one of New York's gangs.
Now, in 2014, I got to go back to Hawkin's House and have tea again with the matron whose keen-eyed compassion earned her the name Hawk. This time she introduced me to another boarder, Annie Gallagher.
Where Grace fell in love with photography, Annie's passion is stories. Especially because the stories are the last physical gift from her departed father. Smooth, faded pages, carefully treasured manuscripts bearing delightful children's tales. That is her one inheritance. Annie keeps them in her desk, and lets them inspire her heart. They wouldn't mean much to anyone else, but they remind her where she came from.
Annie is a dreamer, and she strives to live with confidence in herself and her abilities. She has experienced terribly adverse circumstances and she isn't giving in to despair. Instead, she is channeling her energy: Annie wants to build a library and dedicate it to the education and improvement of young girls like herself.
In the meanwhile though, there are myriad challenges to overcome before that dream can be made of brick and mortar.
A strange man is investigating Hawkin's House, a new boarder is in grave danger, and a postal worker seems quite smitten with our Annie.
What's a girl to do?
Stephen Adams, the postal employee, is a lovable and rather lovestruck character. He's a mailman back when a mailman might deliver three times in one day, and he's proud of his profession. He's also a bibliophile, and it's the shared love of stories that draws them together.
And he's got a few troubles: unpaid bills, a slightly slick opportunist of a landlord, and a terrible case of Tongue-Tie around a certain Miss Gallagher.
Watching Stephen fumble his way around Annie adds some gentle comedy to this novel.
Watching Annie stand up for herself and discover her own capability, that makes Annie's Stories an excellent choice for girls to read. We need as many heroines as possible. Annie Gallagher and Grace McCaffrey are fine ones.
Thank you to Cindy Thomson for the opportunity to be a first reviewer of her new book. I hope it finds an enthusiastic readership!
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Review 6 for Annie's Stories, Ellis Island Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Prepare for a delightful trip back in time

Date:June 22, 2014
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Blooming with Books
Location:Bloomer, WI
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Annie's Stories
A Ellis Island Novel
By Cindy Thomson
Annie Gallagher has a problem with trust, but after her father's death her trust in others severely damaged at the hands of those she should have been able to put it in. Fortunately she was rescued from the situation in which she found herself, and Ireland is far away from New York. But home is also far away, but not just because of distance.
Can Annie ever find "home" ever again? After all family means home and Annie's parents are gone.
Stephen Adams works for the the Post Office, making deliveries to Hawkins House. Stephen Adams is delighted that he and Annie share a fondness for books and the new book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a delightful book that they both love.
Before her father died, he wrote out the stories that he created for Annie. This last act of love means the world to Annie. These stories represent the happiness of home, family, and Ireland to Annie. When Stephen gets a glimpse of the stories he is delighted with them and he thinks Annie should publish them. But Annie doesn't want to share her stories, her father with the world. But these stories could prove to be the answer to Annie's dreams.
But trouble is lurking just around the corner and Hawkins House could be shut down when accusations against the newest boarder are threatened to be exposed and Annie's prayers seem to have no affect at all. And everyone seems to be keeping secrets, secrets that are of importance to Annie.
Annie's Stories brings to life the plight of those coming to America seeking a better life. The characters that we were introduced to in Grace's Pictures are back in this latest offering from the pen of Cindy Thomson. As the characters work to create the lives they dream of we are drawn to America of 1901. We often refer to "simpler times" but the struggles of living were and are the same we face today.
Prepare to be delighted as you step into Annie's world and discover with Annie the importance of trusting in others.
I was provided a copy of this book by the author/publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 7 for Annie's Stories, Ellis Island Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Annie's Stories

Date:June 19, 2014
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Amy C
Location:VA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Annie’s Stories is a perfect example why Cindy Thomson is such a talented writer. This is book two of the Ellis Island series. Right from the start, I could not stop turning the pages. Cindy captures how early nineteenth century New York City was with so many different cultures and immigrants. Of course, being of Irish descent, I enjoyed Annie being an Irish immigrant and learning more of the Irish culture. I loved how Grace from the first book of series, Grace’s Pictures makes many appearances. I loved catching up with her and still continue with her story, as well. I really thought using The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a theme of the story to be quite interesting and refreshing. This book is rich in historical detail. Many of the details I did not know before. I, also, loved how there was an addition of mystery and suspense that kept me reading and not want to put it down. There are many twists and turns that I did not see coming.
Great Book! Well done, Cindy Thomson, you really have outdone yourself this time.
5 stars and up.
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