Review of The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor

Monday, 21 July 2014

The Girl Who Came Home
By Hazel Gaynor
Publication Date: 1st April 2014, 384 pages 
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Historical, True Events, Fiction
Source: Borrowed from Pretty Little Memoirs

Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble

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.

The Girl Who Came Home is a moving retelling of the Titanic and the people who travelled on it. It tells the story of fourteen people who travelled from Ballysheen in Ireland to America, to a better life on the other side of the world. It is told in two parts, one is in 1912 with Maggie Murphy as the focus along with all the people from her town that travelled on the Titanic. The other part is told in 1982 with the focus on Grace Butler, who's great-grandmother is Maggie. 

I loved The Girl Who Came Home so much, it is a very moving story of the people who travelled on the Titanic and the events that took place. Maggie had not long lost her mother, so her Aunt Kathleen had come to take her back to America with her. They would be travelling with twelve other people who were friends of theirs who all had people or lives waiting for them in America. During her travels, Maggie meets many people who work on the Titanic or who are travelling with her, though she still wishes her one true love, Seamus would have been able to come with her, though he is back in Ireland looking after his father. 

Maggie's great-granddaughter, Grace is trying to figure out what to do in her life, having lost her father, she has been at a bit of a lose end. So, when Maggie starts telling her, the story of her time on the Titanic and the secrets that she thought she would never tell anyone, Grace decides to try to find anyone who Maggie use to know, to see if they were still alive, after all these years. It also becomes a distraction from her own life and problems she is having, hoping that maybe Maggie's story with inspire her to write once again.

Maggie's tale of the Titanic is a bittersweet one, she lost a lot when the Titanic sank, along with many people who she loved very dearly and some belonging that could never be replaced. Though, the one thing she still has is her memories of the events that happened on the Titanic before it sank, and the people she met will stay with her always. All of the people who you read about in the story are such big parts of Maggie's life and her story, upon reading them they become a part of yours as well.

When Grace starts to research the Titanic, she is surprised to find that someone Maggie once knew had been looking for her, to give her something she once thought she had lost. Everything Grace finds stirs up more and more memories for Maggie, though she has always wanted to go back to Ireland, to the home she once knew and see it one last time. So, Grace decides to make Maggie's wish come true, though they both never thought that visiting Ireland would not only changes Maggie's life but Grace's as well. 

The Girl Who Came Home will tug at your heartstrings and make you cry with happiness and sadness over this tragic story that tells of loss, friendship, memories, love and the true meaning of coming home. It is an beautifully told story that will stay with me forever. 

If I had to sum this book up in three words, they would be Heartbreaking, Captivating and Moving

Another day, another book, 

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