Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Book Review: The Girl Who Came Home
Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home is the poignant story of a group of Irish emigrants aboard RMS Titanic—a seamless blend of fact and fiction that explores the tragedy’s impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.
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 lucky few passengers in steerage who survives. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that terrible night ever again.
Chicago, 1982. Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her Great Nana Maggie shares the painful secret she harbored for almost a lifetime about the Titanic, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)
Like many others I loved the movie Titanic. What’s nice here is that, in a way, the story with Maggie mimics that of Rose, where it takes place on the Titanic. And then like Rose’s granddaughter, Grace’s story plays out in a time more in the present. What’s unique here is that Grace goes through a similar emotional experience, one that makes her retreat and shut out all that went on in her life prior to another heartbreaking event.
You really can tell that Ms. Gaynor conducted an in-depth amount of research for this novel. She brought her interest in the Titanic to life in the pages of a book. She took a story we’ve heard countless times and gave us a new perspective, one that was authentic and engrossing. She also brought the characters to life, with wonderful use of imagery and description. I felt like I was there with Grace and Maggie experiencing all of the things that they went through.
The only negative aspect I experienced was that it was slow for me in the beginning, but then all of a sudden it picked up and I couldn’t put it down.
If you’re a historical fiction fan, and/or interested in a romantic story about survival, love and self-discovery, then definitely take a chance with The Girl Who Came Home.
Thanks to HarperCollins (William Morrow) for the book in exchange for an honest review.