The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic

4.1 158
by Hazel Gaynor
     
 

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Inspired by true events, the New York Times bestselling novel The Girl Who Came Home is the poignant story of a group of Irish emigrants aboard RMS Titanic—a seamless blend of fact and fiction that explores the tragedy's impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.

Ireland, 1912. Fourteen members of a small

Overview

Inspired by true events, the New York Times bestselling novel The Girl Who Came Home is the poignant story of a group of Irish emigrants aboard RMS Titanic—a seamless blend of fact and fiction that explores the tragedy's impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.

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 lucky few passengers in steerage who survives. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that terrible night ever again.

Chicago, 1982. Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her Great Nana Maggie shares the painful secret she harbored for almost a lifetime about the Titanic, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.

Editorial Reviews

Examiner.com
“A phenomenal book that is a must read!”
New York Journal of Books
“The Girl Who Came Home follows on the centenary remembrance of the Titanic in 2012. Is the world ready for yet another account of this tragedy? With this novel, the answer is a resounding yes“
Kate Kerrigan
“A beautifully imagined novel rich in historic detail and with authentic, engaging characters - I loved this book. Hazel Gaynor is an exciting new voice in historical fiction.”
RT Book Reviews (4 Stars)
“Readers will enjoy this lovely, heartfelt story.”
Reviews from the Heart
“I’ve been a huge fan of the Titanic for quite some time and LOVE reading everything from fictional based novels to non fiction about the lives that were forever changed that night. [...] I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.”
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-06
The fictionalized saga of 14 Irish immigrants from a single parish who sailed on the Titanic. The year is 1982. Maggie, 87, has never discussed the voyage with any of her descendants, including her great-granddaughter Grace, a journalism student at Chicago's Northwestern University. Grace has been offered an internship at the Tribune—if she can pitch an original angle for a feature story. But when her father dies unexpectedly, she drops out of Northwestern to assist her mother, who has multiple sclerosis, also leaving her boyfriend, Jimmy. Two years later, Maggie jolts Grace back on the career path by deciding to finally come clean about her experience as one of the few third-class passengers who survived the Titanic. The historical sections cannot help but pull focus from the heartwarming frame story. A pastiche of journal entries, letters, telegrams and other archival material, some real, some convincingly faux, relates how 14 parishioners from the village of Ballysheen, County Mayo, decide to emigrate. Once aboard the revolutionary new ocean liner, Maggie and her giggly teenage girlfriends charm Harry, a Liverpudlian third-class steward, who devotes himself to making their passage pleasant. He helps Maggie send a "Marconigram" from the ship to Séamus, the love she left behind. Unfortunately, a certain iceberg intervenes. Her transmission is interrupted, altering its meaning. Harry manages to get Maggie on the last lifeboat; 12 of her fellow travelers are not so lucky. Gaynor wisely avoids the usual Titanic tropes (Astors and Strauses are scarcely mentioned), imagining the recollections of ordinary passengers and of the people anxiously awaiting news of them. Once Grace's article goes the 1982 equivalent of viral, the parallel stories wrap up a bit too neatly, especially in the romance department. Still, as the disaster's 102nd anniversary approaches, Gaynor's account surpasses, in subtlety if not in scope, so many flashier treatments.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062316868
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/2014
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
37,956
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Hazel Gaynor's 2014 debut novel The Girl Who Came Home—A Novel of the Titanic was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller. A Memory of Violets is her second novel.

Hazel writes a popular guest blog 'Carry on Writing' for national Irish writing website writing.ie and contributes regular feature articles for the site, interviewing authors such as Philippa Gregory, Sebastian Faulks, Cheryl Strayed, Rachel Joyce and Jo Baker, among others.

Hazel was the recipient of the 2012 Cecil Day Lewis award for Emerging Writers and was selected by Library Journal as one of Ten Big Breakout Authors for 2015. She appeared as a guest speaker at the Romantic Novelists' Association and Historical Novel Society annual conferences in 2014.

Originally from Yorkshire, England, Hazel now lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.

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The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic 4.1 out of 5 based on 6 ratings. 158 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book today and am so sorry the story had to end. A tale of a young girl traveling on Titanic to America with 13 fellow travelers from her village, told from the perspective of an 87 year old and her 17 year old self. I couldn't put it down. After reading it, I learned that so much of it was based on actually fact and real people woven seamlessly into a riveting tale.
kherbrand More than 1 year ago
 Ever since the movie, Titanic, came out I have been obsessed with things Titanic.  My son even loves watching the movie, but I suspect that was just because he liked watching the ship sinking.  It wasn't until we read a kid's book about Titanic together that he realized that it actually happened and that there were a lot of people who died.   So anyway, when the offer to review this book came out I jumped on it!  I like the way the story is told between the events that led up to Maggie and her companions traveling on the Titanic back in 1912 and how finally sharing her story comes to affect her great-granddaughter Grace and the path that her life takes in 1982.  There were times when I was reading about when they were all on the ship that I wanted to wring the necks of some of the first class passengers and how cavalier they were towards the third class passengers in steerage.  I would say the majority of the story was told from the 1912 perspective, as it should be, as that was when the tragedy occurred. You don't really learn much about what happened between 1912 and 1982 other than to know that Maggie survived and went on to have a family of her own. This made it kind of fun at the end when you did get a glimpse of those years.  Though Grace wasn't involved in an ocean liner sinking, she did have tragedy befall her when she was just a little older than Maggie was while on the Titanic, and some of the things in her life paralleled Maggie's in that they were derailed for a short time before being able to put the pieces back together.  I enjoyed the way the author used the cherry trees back in Ballysheen to represent people and how cherry blossoms figured heavily throughout Maggie's life.  I would like to share one of my favorite passages from the book: It was a moment Grace would never forget, watching this dignified old lady whom she loved so much, as she stared into a small case which she'd last seen when only a girl.  A lifetime of memories flooded Maggie's lined face; a lifetime of forgetting was washed away.  It was a moment of silent reflection; a moment laced with poignancy. (p70, Advance Reader's eproof of The Girl Who Came Home).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This books is awsome! A must read for Titanic lovers!
ELMEL1 More than 1 year ago
THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME by Hazel Gaynor appealed to my intellect as well as my emotions and is the most satisfying compelling novel I have read in quite some time. I enjoyed the unfolding of the story and the introduction of the characters with as much anticipation and pleasure as I've had from having a rosebud open into full bloom.To tell you my description of the roses thorns, the silky feel of the petals and the tantalizing perfume would be nothing compared to the actual experience. As you turn the pages, enjoy having this book bloom for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so inspiring it held me to my nook the whoe ltime
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a great read. I highly recommend it. Knowing that Titanic was such a terrible tragedy I enjoyed the storyline created by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the characters and maggies story
CherishD More than 1 year ago
This was one of the most beautifully written stories...I loved every page of it!  And I almost fell off my chair at the end...did NOT see that coming!
ConR More than 1 year ago
I've had this book on my shelf for a while, and finally made the wise choice to pick it up! This is a stellar first novel. I loved the story, the adventure that Maggie embarked on, the characters, the connection between past and present. It engaged me from the first page to the last. But what I really want to speak of is the respect I have for Hazel Gaynor and writers like her who are captured by the spark of a story from some chance encounter in their own lives, who are brave enough and dedicated enough to do the tons of research to make the story authentic, especially when it mirrors a real life event. I read a lot of books that are written in the present time, and admire lots of authors who mostly write in that genre, but today I'd like to praise and call attention to the many who are like Gaynor, in that they attempt to bring the past to us readers now, with much effort and talent, so that we may catch a glimpse of life in the earlier days of our history. I liken Gaynor's efforts here to Jane Kirkpatrick and Karen Barnett, just to name a couple. These ladies, among others, pique my curiousity and make me want to explore more about the events they write about.
christine67 More than 1 year ago
This is an exceptionally written book!  It is the story about a group of people from a small village in Ireland who make the decision to sail to America to begin new lives.  They are both excited and nervous about sailing on Titanic, the largest and most amazing ship of the time.  The story not only focuses on the actual sinking of the ship, but on this group's preparation prior to leaving Ireland, the bonds formed between each member of the group, and one of the survivors, Maggie, as she tells her story to her great-granddaughter.  It is definitely a must-read!  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!      
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME by Hazel Gaynor is a fascinating Historical Fiction set in 1912-1982 in Ireland and Chicago. A novel of the Titanic. *Inspired by true events* "A Voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman."(From the back cover) Set sail on the RMS Titanic. Meet, seventeen-year-old Magggie Murphy, Grace Butler,and so many others. Some survive the iceberg, some do not. A heart wrenching tale of survival, sacrifice, unexpected reunions,secrets, second chances and new revelations. While, THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, may have some inconsistency in some details,but it is in fact, fiction with actual facts included. A tale that blends fact with fiction very well, and the reader can only be in awe of the Titanic's tragic lost and the lost of so many lives. If you enjoy reading Historical Fiction and the tale of the Titanic, as so many are, than you will enjoy THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME. Very emotional tale of family, grief, lost and the secrets that some survivors bare for a lifetime. I can't say it was an enjoyable read, because, there was or is so much lost, but, it was an inspiration and glimpse into the lives of the survivors of the Titanic and the tragedy of that fateful date, April 15, 1912. Well written with engaging characters, that will tear at your heart. It has several different writing styles, including flashbacks, actual telegrams from the Titanic, letters from a lover, memories, and Maggie's private journal. Of the "Addergoole Fourteen", a small group of men and woman from a village near Killala in Co Mayo, Ireland, only 3 survived the ordeal. A great addition to any library. I would recommend this tale of so much lost, grief and survival. Well written! Received for an honest review. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: Sweet REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Stepupgramma More than 1 year ago
Historically accurate - well written - great story covering two continents. So engrossing I wept twice in last 30 pages. This is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written book, I felt as if I were on the Titanic myself. Couldn't wait to read another chapter or two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great story, especially for anyone who is of Irish heritage. It gives a better understanding of what enormous decisions the passengers had to make just to make the voyage to a strange land. Then to see what follows with the tragedy of the actual sinking of the ship that wS supposed to be unsinkable and how the survivors managed to go on with their lives makes for an incredible story.
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
Hazel Gaynor did a marvelous job of blending history with fiction. Instead of rehashing the side of the sinking, which is well-covered by previous books and movies, she provided a fresh take, from the perspective of a survivor. Gaynor did intensive research to ensure authenticity, and it shows. This is a splendid first novel from a promising author, and I look forward to her next work.
WriteReason More than 1 year ago
A delightful read!  Very well told.  The characters were a delight to meet.  Their experiences were real to the mind and spirit of the reading.  The author gave very discriptive accounts of life aboard the Titanic in those few short days she was afloat, and of the tragic events of her sinking, including the aftermath for those who survived.  Very well written.  I highly recommend it.
Pappy1943 More than 1 year ago
Well written book - you will enjoy it
jcaTN More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed this book. There were a lot of characters with some twists and turns one might not have expected; however, any time I can read about The Titanic, I'm always interested in reading another slant on the tragic end of this beautiful ship on its maiden voyage. In one sense it was like reading an account of a Holocaust survivor. Highly recommend this book! jcaTN
reader48 More than 1 year ago
Great rainy day afternoon, sit by the fire with a cup of tea read. Love the characters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An awesome book! Loved it kept you reading and I didn't want to put it down untilvi finished it!
I_like_clean_reads More than 1 year ago
I found this novel to be very compelling. Like many others, I find myself draw to reading about the Titanic disaster, hence why I bought this e-book. I loved that the author based it from the Steerage passenger point of view, and particularly happy that the main characters were from Ireland. There was some brief language, some talk of fumbling buttons and zippers, LOL, but other than that, it was a very, very nice read, one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book!
Anonymous 11 months ago
I think we all are somewhat fascinated by the stories involving the Titanic. I had this book in my Nook library for some time. When I finally read it, I quickly realized what a gem I've had sitting in my library. Touching, compelling, beautifully told...this book will be on my mind for a good long time. I've told fellow avid readers I know to read it, and tell readers of this post the same. Read. This. Book. You will be so glad you did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We luv you forever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago