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Angel Island   By: (1873-1970)

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Angel Island is a thought-provoking novel, written by Inez Haynes Gillmore, that delves into the complex issues surrounding women's roles within society. Set against the backdrop of the early 20th century, the story follows the journey of Irene Trevor, a young woman who defies societal expectations and embarks on a quest for independence and self-discovery.

Gillmore's writing style is both captivating and insightful, vividly highlighting the challenges and triumphs faced by women during this period. Through the character of Irene, readers are exposed to a world where women's options are limited and societal norms restrict their ambitions and dreams. As Irene navigates various obstacles, we witness her transformation from a timid and obedient daughter to a strong-willed and determined young woman.

One of the greatest strengths of Angel Island is its portrayal of the female experience during a time when gender roles were rigidly defined. Gillmore skillfully explores the societal pressures forcing women into traditional roles such as wife, mother, and caregiver. She challenges these norms by crafting a story that emphasizes the importance of personal fulfillment and the pursuit of one's own dreams.

Additionally, Gillmore touches on several thought-provoking themes throughout the novel. The exploration of power dynamics within relationships, as well as the sacrifices made in the pursuit of personal fulfillment, adds depth and realism to the narrative. These themes resonate deeply with readers, prompting introspection and contemplation long after the final page is turned.

Furthermore, Gillmore's portrayal of the various female characters in the book is truly remarkable. Each character is multi-dimensional, with their own desires, ambitions, and struggles. By showcasing the diversity and complexity within the female experience, Gillmore not only challenges societal norms but also highlights the importance of empathy and understanding in fostering equality.

However, one minor drawback of Angel Island is the pacing of the story. At times, the narrative feels slow and drawn-out, making it difficult to maintain a consistent level of engagement. Nonetheless, the rich character development and powerful themes explored in the novel compensate for this minor flaw.

Overall, Angel Island is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that shines a light on the struggles and triumphs of women during a time of societal constraints. Inez Haynes Gillmore's masterful storytelling and poignant exploration of women's roles within society make this book a must-read for anyone interested in women's history and the pursuit of personal fulfillment.

First Page:


By Inez Haynes Gillmore

Author of "Phoebe and Ernest," "Phoebe, Ernest, and Cupid," etc.


M. W. P.


It was the morning after the shipwreck. The five men still lay where they had slept. A long time had passed since anybody had spoken. A long time had passed since anybody had moved. Indeed, it, looked almost as if they would never speak or move again. So bruised and bloodless of skin were they, so bleak and sharp of feature, so stark and hollow of eye, so rigid and moveless of limb that they might have been corpses. Mentally, too, they were almost moribund. They stared vacantly, straight out to sea. They stared with the unwinking fixedness of those whose gaze is caught in hypnotic trance.

It was Frank Merrill who broke the silence finally. Merrill still looked like a man of marble and his voice still kept its unnatural tone, level, monotonous, metallic. "If I could only forget the scream that Norton kid gave when he saw the big wave coming. It rings in my head. And the way his mother pressed his head down on her breast oh, my God!"

His listeners knew that he was going to say this. They knew the very words in which he would put it. All through the night watches he had said the same thing at intervals. The effect always was of a red hot wire drawn down the frayed ends of their nerves... Continue reading book >>

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