THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME by Hazel Gaynor from Sourcebooks was a beautiful debut novel and a special way to remember the tragic events of the maiden voyage of the Titanic. The Titanic sank in April over 100 years ago. This novel takes place in two-time periods but they are linked together by the events that occurred on The Titanic.
It is 1912 and 14 persons are making the trip from Ballysheen, Ireland to Chicago. The lead character is Maggie Murphy and I really enjoyed the way that Gaynor utilized her to share these events. Grace is her great-granddaughter and a budding journalist at Northwestern University but has left school after the death of her father. At a crossroads Grace stumbles upon a secret that her great-grandmother has been keeping all of this time and is now ready to share.
Through Maggie’s eyes as a youth and then as an old woman we learn first hand what it was like to be on the Titanic for that ill-fated trip from steerage class. Grace helps her great grandmother find some peace and even some joy from a time that was shut away long ago.
If you have visited here before you will know I am not a fan of time jumping but this was needed and handled expertly by Gaynor. My least favorite part about this book was the way it was all tied up just so at the end. But that is a minor complaint given all of the parts I did enjoy.
Sure you might have seen the movie, but this novel is beautifully crafted and inspired by the true story of a group of travelers. Gaynor has provided a more personal way to learn about a small group of passengers that suffered a huge loss of life on that day. This has been an excellent year for historical fiction and I am proud to add THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME to the list.