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The Girl Who Came Home: A Titanic Novel

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,417 Ratings  ·  1,209 Reviews
Inspired by true events surrounding a group of Irish emigrants who sailed on the maiden voyage of R.M.S Titanic, The Girl Who Came Home is a story of enduring love and forgiveness, spanning seventy years. It is also the story of the world’s most famous ship, whose tragic legacy continues to captivate our hearts and imaginations one hundred years after she sank to the botto ...more
Kindle Edition, 261 pages
Published March 2012
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Patti I suspected that was the case all along, and I did like that no one really connected that. What was weird for me was that she would marry a man with…moreI suspected that was the case all along, and I did like that no one really connected that. What was weird for me was that she would marry a man with the same last name as Seamus and no one connect THAT.. but all in all.. it IS a story and I liked the little surprise at the end. She really never wanted to talk about her life in younger years.. so I don't find it unbelievable. I have no idea how my grandparents met not to mention my great grandparents... so be it!(less)
Voyage on the Great Titanic by Ellen Emerson WhiteThe Girl Who Came Home by Hazel GaynorFateful by Claudia GrayThe Dressmaker by Kate AlcottDestined by Allison Kraft
Fiction books about the Titanic
2nd out of 87 books — 92 voters
The Watch That Ends the Night by Allan WolfFateful by Claudia GrayPromise Me This by Cathy GohlkeBy the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia GoyerHearts That Survive by Yvonne Lehman
Titanic's 100th Anniversary
6th out of 74 books — 116 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Khanh (the Grinch)
This book suffers from a short attention span. It is supposed to be the story of Maggie, a young Irish woman in 1912, about to travel on the ill-fated Titanic; simultaneously, it incorporates the story of Grace, her granddaughter in 1982. As far as I can tell, there is not much point to incorporating Grace into the story; Grace's father dies and she is having trouble moving on, Maggie's story helps her get off her ass, to be a little crass, but I really don't see the point of having Grace in the ...more
As another anniversary of the Titanic disaster approaches, I listened to this story of Maggie Murphy, a survivor who traveled with 13 others from Ballysheen, Ireland. Her adventures before, during, and after the fateful trip are mingled with a 1980's time frame in Illinois where her great granddaughter, Grace, is writing Maggie's story for the Chicago Tribune. I enjoyed both time frames, but the narrator with an Irish brogue for Maggie's parts was a real delight while Grace's was a little too ma ...more
Jan 03, 2015 Rhonda rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Anyone who is a history buff and likes Titanic will enjoy reading this book. The way it was written, with a few timelines and points of view was brilliant and refreshing! It really brings home the story of this tragic ship, passengers, crew members and families unlike anything I've read. It's a very good tribute to all those lost on that horrific night, 100 years ago. The world has never forgotten.
Apr 25, 2014 kari rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Unfortunately, sadly this review does begin with unfortunately, with the centennial of the sinking of the Titanic, there are a boatload(pun intended) of books centering around that event and, sadly, this one brings nothing new to the story.
I think if you've seen the movie Titanic, you are already familiar with the general story, even so much as what it was like in steerage as compared to first class. I'm sad to say this doesn't really add anything.
This is a fictionalized event of fourteen people
Apr 17, 2012 Karla rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-cloud
I very much enjoyed this story line and loved that it was based on true facts, not just from the Titanic sinking, but the characters being based on real life characters as well.

That being said, I could have, would have, enjoyed this novel much more had I not been frequently distracted by the writing style. There was a bit of redundancy, especially at the beginning and around the 3/4 mark. I prefer that the points be told efficiently the first time as apposed to having to retell the same point i
Jan 25, 2015 Jane rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Where I got the book: freebie on the Kindle.

Note (1/25/15): this review is of the original self-published version. The novel was subsequently republished by William Morrow, and it's quite possible a lot of the problems I mentioned were fixed.

This is a weak 3-star read, in my opinion. I was tempted to 2-star it, but I'm not going to do that for two reasons: it's a debut novel and therefore by definition not representative of the author's future development, and in some ways I rather enjoyed the s
Lady Reads
Apr 07, 2012 Lady Reads rated it liked it
I must say, before I begin to describe my experience with this story, that I liked it and was charmed by its simplicity. It was innocent and sweeping, an easy warm weather read.

This book has its problems. The names of many of the characters are confusing in their similarity and origin, so it can be hard to decipher who the author is talking about. There are grammar/punctuation errors which may cause a reader to review a sentence once or twice to really decipher the meaning.

Still, I feel all of t
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Well this was a let down. I was so totally stoked to see this in my library calling my name. I love history stuff so anything to do with anything that happened in past, I will read it. The book was starting off great then the granddaughter from 1980's comes along. I didn't like the Grace (granddaughter) parts. They could have been left out and the story would have been perfect. All in all okay, not what I had hoped.
Jun 22, 2014 Pam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review contains spoilers in the second paragraph. Fans of romance novels might enjoy this book, but it wasn't what I was expecting and not my taste. As others have already said, nothing new was brought to the Titanic story and much of the plot followed the footsteps of the James Cameron movie. Long descriptive passages were often tedious and there was way too much repetition throughout the book. I found myself skimming entire paragraphs, which I almost never do. The worst part for me was th ...more
May 21, 2014 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm fascinated with the story of the Titanic, but not obsessed so I haven't read lots of books on it. This is a fictional account inspired by a real group of 14 Irish emigrants who left Ireland to visit relatives in America.

The story focuses on 17-year-old Maggie Murphy. Maggie's parents have both died and her aunt Kathleen has come to Ireland and is taking Maggie back to Chicago with her. While there, others have decided to join them in making the journey. Maggie is sad to be leaving her boyfri
When the Titanic sank in April 1912, most of the passengers from steerage did not survive. This fictionalized story is based on the true account of the Addergoole Fourteen—a group of people from Lahardane village in County Mayo, Ireland. They left Ireland full of hopes to begin better lives in America. However, only a few survived to make it across the Atlantic.

This poignant story combines fact and fiction and brings the story of one fictional survivor to life. Seventeen year old Maggie Murphy s
The author was inspired by the true story of a group of fourteen people from an Irish village who traveled on the Titanic in 1912, hoping to find a better life in America. The fictional Maggie Murphy, a survivor of the sinking of the Titanic, was so traumatized by the terrible events that she had been unwilling to share her story, even with her family. As she reached her 90th birthday, Maggie opened up to her great-granddaughter and showed her the journal she kept during the fateful voyage.

The n
Megan Readinginthesunshine
Personally I am a HUGE fan of anything related to The Titanic, I am genuinely just fascinated by it all and I’ve previously read and enjoyed books based on The Titanic.

In Ireland 1912, fourteen members from a small village prepare to set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping for a better future in America. Among them is seventeen year old Maggie, and although a new future awaits her, her heart still belongs in Ireland with the sweetheart she left behind. After tragedy strikes, Maggie is one of the lucky f
Judy Collins
The GIRL WHO CAME HOME is a story about the Titanic with the main character, Maggie, a seventeen year old woman leaving her sweetheart behind in Ireland to travel to a new life in America, along with 13 others in the little village. Having led a sheltered life, there were many experiences while on board which were described in depth.

Maggie was a young Irish woman in 1912 about to travel on the ill-fated Titanic and is intertwined with Grace her granddaughter in 1982. Maggie’s story motivates Gr
Margaret Madden
Review from

I received a copy of this book from the publishers for review purposes......

It is 102 years since the tragic sinking of Titanic and yet the story is one that never fails to pull at our heartstrings. We have seen the movie, read the books and think there is nothing else we can learn about the event. This book proves us wrong.

Based on the true story of a group of people, all from the same small country town in Ireland, who travelled on Titanic in search o
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Well over one hundred years since the fateful sinking of the Titanic, people are still interested in the many stories that have been written about that night on April 15, 1912. When the unsinkable ship met its match when it encountered an iceberg despite the many warnings of sightings in the area and yet they failed to reduced their speed and tempted fate. So many mistakes and so many to blame, but what we fail sometimes to remember is that people did survive despite the odds from both first cla ...more
Apr 14, 2012 Alex rated it liked it
This is a touching story told with sensitivity. I particularly liked that it was based on a specific group of real-life travellers all from the same Irish village - this is a common theme in emigration (the English village I study for genealogical purposes had 24 people emigrate together on a ship bound for New South Wales in 1848) and I was pleased that the author had chosen to base her Titanic novel around this. The concept and story of Titanic itself can overwhelm novels, but here the dual st ...more
May 02, 2012 Nenette rated it really liked it
There are a number of things that I love about this book:

Fictional stories based on facts are nice reads especially when the writer’s creativity is used such that the facts are not addled but rather enhanced by the fictional twists and turns.

More than a couple of scenes made me cry. I wouldn’t say the prose came off as heavy, it’s actually the contrary for me, but the book pulled at my heart. A good cry is a good cry, and I loved it!

There is a lovely parallelism of stories between Titanic survi
Oct 19, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
This wasn't really my cup of tea.
Oct 23, 2012 Misfit marked it as the-kindle-black-hole
3/25. Kindle freebie today.
May 22, 2014 MissSusie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, lter, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; the author did a great job of mixing the Titanic story with the present day story.

I found it fascinating to read about this group of 14 people from one little town of Ballysheen Ireland it was a fictional town (but there was a real town Addergoole that had 14 people on the Titanic and lost 11 people) which made me want to do even more research on them. Also I loved the pictures of the real cables and telegrams from the titanic and the Carpathia interspersed in the
Feb 15, 2014 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
Original review found at

I received a copy of this novel from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication date is April 2014.

I was eager to read this book as I have a fascination with all things associated to the Titanic. I was curious to see what kind of spin would be put on the tragic tail of the events that occurred on the Titanic. For those who have any knowledge of the Titanic or seen the movie fo
Apr 26, 2016 Meera19 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
3.78 stars?


This is my favourite book.
Danielle Schneider

I received a physical copy of this book from the publishers for participation in a blog tour and in exchange for an honest review.

I developed an obsession with the story of the Titanic early on in my life. Surprisingly, my hunger for details of such a tragic occurrence in history did not come from a fondness for Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. I read a book called "A Night to Remember" ages ago and became so intrigued I started reading anything I could find on the subject. I don't know if
Joanie Sompayrac
Most books don't grab me from page one and haunt me such that I keep sneaking a read at every turn, but this book did. While it is a novel based on the Titanic (and we all know what happened to the Titanic!), the author managed to weave several other compelling stories into and around this historical tragedy. I kept wanting to read more and find out what happened next. The story is based on an actual group of Irish men and women who sailed on the doomed ship to seek a better life in America. Mos ...more
Kate Forsyth
Oct 19, 2015 Kate Forsyth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
This a bittersweet, delicate novel which moves between Chicago, 1982, and Ireland, 1912. A young American woman Grace discovers that her grandmother Maggie is a survivor of the Titanic, and asks her to tell her story. Maggie was one of fourteen Irish emigrants to leave a single village to sail on the Titanic. They all have hopes and fears for the new life they are sailing towards, and many are leaving behind friends and loved ones. Hazel Gaynor deftly moves back and forth between the two narrati ...more
Trish at Between My Lines
This review was originally posted on [Between My Lines]This book blew me away with how much I felt whilst reading. I was far, far away in the distant past on that most infamous of all ships and believing and living every agonising moment.

First Line of The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor:
“Maggie Murphy stood alone and unnoticed on the doorstep of the thatched stone cottage that three generations of her family had called home.”

My Thoughts on The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor:
I love all t
Becca (Pretty Little Memoirs)
Apr 07, 2014 Becca (Pretty Little Memoirs) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Fiction fans
As reviewed on {Pretty Little Memoirs}

Hazel Gaynor has written an exquisite tribute to the Titanic and it shows completely through the story as the plot plays out. I could see the extent to where Hazel had researched every detail of the events that follow and seep out into the storyline.
Maggie and Grace were both very different characters in personality stances, and to see the development of each character built throughout the novel was really refreshing to read about, also knowing of the true
Ms. Gaynor treats the Titanic tragedy with the consideration it deserves. Thanks to the movie, many of the scenes on the ship are well-known. What is not so well-known, however, is the scenes after the Carpathia entered New York harbor. The unloading of the infamous life boats onto the White Star dock, the crowds, the emotional outpouring from both the crowd and the survivors as well as the survivors’ shock and incomprehension are new and profound. The collective grief as well as the outpouring ...more
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor is being published in April 2014. The story is very sad and very emotional. The story of the titanic blends fact and fiction about the terrible disaster of when the Titanic sank. I have never watched the film of the titanic, but I have enjoyed this well written novel. The opening is very touching and eye watering where this book has been dedicated to the memory of the Addergoole Fourteen and all those who lost their lives on the Titanic on April 15, 1912. N ...more
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Hazel Gaynor is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME and A MEMORY OF VIOLETS. She was selected by US Library Journal as one of ‘Ten Big Breakout Authors’ for 2015 and was a WHSmith Travel ‘Fresh Talent’ pick. She received the 2015 RNA Historical Romantic Novel of the Year award for THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME.

Hazel is one of nine contributing authors to WWI ant
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“Life is fragile Grace – it is no more than a petal of cherry blossom; thriving and in full bloom one minute and blown to the ground by a sudden gust of wind the next. We shouldn’t take our life for granted and we should do whatever we can to make ourselves happy.” 9 likes
“Now you look here. All your father ever dreamed of for you was to do something you loved in life. He didn't care about fancy qualifications or fancy clothes or cars, just that you were both happy and fulfilled. He was so excited about your dreams for a career.” 8 likes
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