Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Girl Who Came Home
by Hazel Gaynor

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In a rural Irish village in April 1912, seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy is anxious about the trip to America. While the thirteen others she will travel with from her Parish anticipate a life of prosperity and opportunity - including her strict Aunt Kathleen who will be her chaperon for the journey - Maggie is distraught to be leaving Séamus, the man she loves with all her heart. As the carts rumble out of the village, she clutches a packet of love letters in her coat pocket and hopes that Séamus will be able to join her in America soon. 

In Southampton, England, Harry Walsh boards Titanic as a Third Class Steward, excited to be working on this magnificent ship. After the final embarkation stop in Ireland, Titanic steams across the Atlantic Ocean. Harry befriends Maggie and her friends from the Irish group; their spirits are high and life on board is much grander than any of them could have ever imagined. Being friendly with Harold Bride, one of the Marconi radio operators, Harry offers to help Maggie send a telegram home to Séamus. But on the evening of April 14th, when Titanic hits an iceberg, Maggie’s message is only partly transmitted, leaving Séamus confused by what he reads. 

As the full scale of the disaster unfolds, luck and love will decide the fate of the Irish emigrants and those whose lives they have touched on board the ship. In unimaginable circumstances, Maggie survives, arriving three days later in New York on the rescue ship Carpathia. She has only the nightdress she is wearing, a small case and a borrowed coat, to her name. She doesn’t speak of Titanic again for seventy years.



Kritters Thoughts:  A historical fiction book with a current storyline running through it at the same time and it centers around the Titanic.  Maggie survived the tragedy of the Titanic, but lost some very important letters and has never been able to track them down.  Her great granddaughter is a journalism student who has returned home to help out in the family home after a personal tragedy and she has to decide what is next for her. 

This is a heavy book due to the subject matter, but with the current storyline moving throughout the book, it stayed relevant and current.  There were obvious parallels between both of the main characters, but I didn't feel like the author shoved them down your throat, they were just obvious.  An interesting turn of events toward the end made this book even better than it would have been without it!

I loved how the author used other characters that were not on the Titanic to show the impact this tragedy had on family members and friends who were waiting their arrival in New York or were back living in Ireland - the lack of communication abilities was startling and these parts were probably my favorite.  

I would completely recommend this book to readers who are hesitant to read historical fiction, the characters in this book took center stage and the Titanic is an American point in history that I haven't seen often in the fiction genre.   

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2014 Challenge: 14 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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