The Girl That Came Home by Hazel Gaynor

Leah Courtney

I've long been a fan of anything- movie or book- about the Titanic.  As a young college student, I went to see the Kate Winslow/Leonardo DeCaprio movie at least six times at the theater.  I also read anything and everything about the tragic sinking and watched all the documentaries I could find about the recovery of the Titanic.  In honor of the 100th anniversary of the sinking this year, The Girl Who Came Home was a free Kindle read recently.

The Girl Who Came Home is based on the true account of a group of fourteen Irish immigrants who left Ireland in April of 1912 to make a new life in America.  They sailed to loved ones who were already waiting for them.  They left behind families and friends who loved them.  And they sailed on the unsinkable Titanic.  Hazel Gaynor has taken the information about this little group, along with many historical records of the fateful night, and some original telegraph messages and woven a tale of Maggie Murphy, the Irish girl who survived the sinking of the Titanic as many of her friends perished.  The story follows a fictional character, Grace, as she discovers her great grandmother's link to the famous ship.  Grace records Maggie's story and in the process discovers how precious life is and how important it is for her to take a chance in life and in love.

This was a great tale of the Titanic.  Hazel Gaynor does a great job of really bringing the characters to life and letting the reader see and hear what the passengers on the infamous ship would have experienced.  The style of the story, shifting back and forth between the experiences of the passengers, the loved ones waiting at home, Maggie's diary, and the more modern day story of Grace, was a little distracting at first; but I ended up enjoying the shifts and feeling closer to each character because of them.  I especially liked the rather surprise ending which I will not reveal.

I'd give this one a strong four stars and a PG rating for the disturbing, true life events of the night.

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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