The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic by Hazel Gaynor
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman. . .
Ireland, 1912 . . .
Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again.
Chicago, 1982 . . .
Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her great-grandmother Maggie shares the painful secret about Titanic that she's harbored for almost a lifetime, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads both her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.
Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home poignantly blends fact and fiction to explore the Titanic tragedy's impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; the author did a great job of mixing the Titanic story with the present day story.
I found it fascinating to read about this group of 14 people from one little town of Ballysheen Ireland it was a fictional town (but there was a real town Addergoole that had 14 people on the Titanic and lost 11 people) which made me want to do even more research on them. Also I loved the pictures of the real cables and telegrams from the titanic and the Carpathia interspersed in the book.
Maggie was a great character she was strong willed and a survivor, this book really made you feel how terrifying it was and how lucky it was that anyone at all from 3rd class survived that awful night. I found it interesting that Maggie had never spoken to her family of her time on the Titanic and it made me wonder how many other survivors never spoke of it again. We all know the story of the titanic and I have read many books on the subject myself but when Maggie is talking to Grace and says she never talked about it because even this many years later she can still hear the screams of the people in the water and as the ship went down, how awful to live with that the rest of your life.
I also enjoyed the love story of Maggie & Seamus, if you follow my reviews you know I’m not much into romance but this love story was so sweet and the way Maggie told the story just made me want them to make it.
Maggie’s granddaughter Grace was so different than Maggie I felt she was weaker because look at what Maggie had been through, when all but herself and one other that were traveling on the titanic were lost to the sea but she went on with her life but Grace loses her father and completely falls apart and gives up everything she loves to take care of her mother but really I felt it was more about Grace herself than taking care of her mother, it was her way to hide.
All the characters on the boat were well written and I really felt the author did a great job of putting you in their shoes, even though you as a reader know what will happen it was still edge of your seat hoping your favorite characters make it to the life boats.
Make sure you read the acknowledgments and the PS to learn more about the real town and where the author got the ideas for this book I found that interesting.
I truly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any historical fiction fans out there.
I received this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program for a fair and honest review.