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For the Love of Literature

As a bibliophile, my passion for books coalesces with a love of writing, and writing book reviews allows me to share literature with the world.

When Irish Eyes are Crying

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic - Hazel Gaynor

With “The Girl Who Came Home,” Hazel Gaynor
takes readers on an incredible journey through time, exploring how the effects
of one tragic event reverberates for generations. As a seventeen-year-old girl,
Maggie Murphy leaves her home of Ballysheen, Ireland with thirteen others from
her village to travel to America onboard the Titanic. Harry Walsh, a young
steward assigned to the steerage deck, likewise departs from his own hometown
of Southampton, England and does his best to take care of the third-class
passengers—Maggie and her companions among them. As the catastrophic events of
April 14 and 15, 1912 unfold, the lives of each passenger are irrevocably
changed, and Maggie vows never to speak of the ill-fated ship afterward. Until,
that is, her great-granddaughter’s twenty-first birthday—seventy years to the
day that the Titanic sank into the ocean depths. Telling her story at long last
sets into motion a chain of events that will again change lives, perhaps this
time for the better.

Gaynor crafts a poignant and engaging tale sure to delight and mesmerize fans
of historical fiction and light romance. The novel, based on true historical
persons and told partly in epistolary format, develops through a series of
flashbacks and alternates between the years 1912 and 1982, interweaving the
lives of the various characters in an unforgettable saga. Appended to the story
is a section entitled “P.S.”, which includes a short author bio, the story
behind the novel, a glossary of Irish terms with pronunciations, and sixteen
Reading Group Discussion Questions to be pondered after reading the novel in
its entirety.