Monday 4 August 2014

The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor

It is hard to believe that it is just over 102 years since the tragic sinking of the Titanic.  Titanic is a familiar story but this novel is based on the story of fourteen real life characters who left from Ballysheen in Ireland to start a new and better life in America. As such it brings alive the stories of the passengers who went through the disastrous sinking of an 'unsinkable ship'.  It is told in two parts, part one is in 1912 with Maggie Murphy, a steerage passenger as the focus along with all the people from her town that travelled on the Titanic. The other part is told in 1982 with the focus on Grace Butler, who's great-grandmother is Maggie. Throughout it's run it threads of a love story and the guilt and pain of being a survivor.

This book is so much more than a story, it's a well-researched background giving a real 'feel' of the people and the times as well as describing life aboard Titanic from the very different views of passengers and staff.  It's well written and very moving, it's also very poignant in places, the author makes you feel you know the central characters and goes on to show how survivors of the disaster were treated and how their lives were altered.  All with two lost love stories thrown in - one in present times and one going back to 1912 Ireland.

I loved this book so much, the story flowed & the pages kept turning as I couldn't wait to see how the love story would unfold.  The Girl Who Came Home will tug at your heartstrings and make you cry with happiness and sadness over this tragic story that tells of loss, friendship, memories, love and the true meaning of coming home. It is an beautifully told story that will stay with me forever. 

If I had to sum this book up in three words, they would be Heartbreaking, Captivating and Moving.

After reading this book, I really hope to get a chance to go to the Titanic Experience in Belfast as I've always found everything in relation to the Titanic interesting. 

This book is available on Kindle & in all good bookstores.

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