Like many readers across the globe, I have been fascinated with the tragedy that took place in April 1912 in the Atlantic Ocean…..the sinking of the Titanic. Fortunately, there are many gifted writers out there that are able to weave fictional tales from this unbelievable event. Hazel Gaynor is one of these authors. She has penned The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic.
This is the story of Maggie Murphy, a 17 year-old girl from Ballysheen, Ireland who gain passage on the Titanic along with 13 others from her town. This is their story…her story. (This is based on a true story of the Addergoole Fourteen who lost their lives on April 15, 1912 on the Titanic). Maggie along with her close friends are heading onto the journey of their lives. Even though they will be passengers on the third class level , they consider themselves fortunate and blessed to be able to to be aboard this historical voyage. Maggie is leaving behind the love of her life…Seamus. He promised to wait for her and has written her a letter for every month that she will be gone. She keeps them close in her coat pocket with plans to read them once they arrive in America.
Meanwhile….flash forward to the year 1982….Maggie’s great granddaughter , Grace, is going through a rough spell when Maggie decides to reveal her story of the Titanic to her. Maggie has kept the story to herself for 70 years and has not spoken of it to anyone….she had no desire to revisit the horror she experienced so long ago in those icy, dark waters. Now, she is ready and Grace records this story and writes a hauntingly beautiful article on the events….an article that receives much attention.
The story is told through a few voices…Maggie’s, Grace’s and Harry’s…a steward on the boat. There are journal entries and letters that fill in the pieces of the story which makes it all the more endearing. A fantastic addition to Titanic historical fiction.