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The Girl Who Came Home

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  18,412 ratings  ·  2,147 reviews
A voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman. . . .

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 swee
Kindle Edition, 362 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published March 11th 2012)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  18,412 ratings  ·  2,147 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
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
The Girl Who Came Home is loosely based on the story of the Addergoole 14.....14 poor Irish from a single village in County Mayo who boarded the Titanic in 1912 to head to a new life in America. They were filled with dreams, hopes and expectations. Sadly, only 3 would survive the sinking of the gigantic ship in the cold, dark Atlantic Ocean. The names of the 14 passengers, their life stories, the name of the Irish village and some other facts are changed in the Girl Who Came Home...but the story ...more
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
What can I say about this book? It's not that I *disliked* it. I just felt that there was nothing particularly new or interesting here. I saw the "big reveal" from a mile away.

This is not a book I would have chosen on my own, but it was the selection for one of my book clubs. I prefer books that either make me think or feel something. If I'm choosing something lighter, I tend to choose either humor or suspense/thriller. This is "women's fiction" through and through. Just not my thing.

2.5 stars
3.5 stars rounded down.

This is ostensibly the story of Maggie Murphy, a 17 year old Irish girl who survived the sinking of the Titanic. After her mother dies, her aunt comes to Ireland to bring Maggie to America to live with her. Maggie must leave her sweetheart, Seamus, behind. They and 12 others from her village will be sailing on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. No spoiler alert needed: we all know how that ends.

It is also the story of Maggie’s great granddaughter, Grace, who is having dif
Apr 11, 2014 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
Jun 22, 2014 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
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
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
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
I have been obsessed with Titanic since I was a young teenager and fell in love with Leo and Kate. This story felt familiar - and obviously still tragic. I really appreciated that in this book we got the perspective of third class passengers. So often in Titanic stories first class is focused on (probably because of the beautiful opulence and details of the ship). I wasn’t as enthralled with the modern timeline - mostly because something about it felt a little less authentic? For some reason the ...more
Apr 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book very much... some interesting twists!
Apr 30, 2014 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
Mar 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Connie G
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
I've read a few books about Titanic and each one had a slightly different perspective and offered a little more information. This one, however, does not and seems to be content to try to ride on the coattails of the blockbuster movie. It fell very flat for me and the only way I could finish was to skim and speed read to the end. If you're looking for a new angle to the Titanic story, I recommend The Midnight Watch by David Dyer.
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.
Judy D 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
The book that launched the career of Hazel Gaynor!!

It is 1912. Maggie Murphy is leaving Ireland. Her mother has died, leaving her an orphan at 17. Aunt Kathleen is snatching her away from home and her beloved Seamus to start a new life in Chicago. They will be sailing on the maiden voyage of Titanic.

The book is divided into three parts: before, during and after the sailing. Many of the chapters start with a duplication of an actual telegram from or about Titanic.

Descriptions of the sinking and
3 Stars.
I enjoyed the characters and sections of the book set in 1912 (Maggie was charming), but found the 1982 characters uninteresting. Grace's love interest was under characterized and bland; as was Grace for the most part. So, 4 stars for the parts set in 1912 and 2 stars for the parts set in 1982.
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
Ange H
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could read about the Titanic every single day and never get bored with it. The Girl Who Came Home was a fine addition to my collection, with well-drawn characters, brisk storytelling and a skillful mix of fact and fiction.

Titanic lore often focuses on the magnificence of the ship and the famous, wealthy people on board for its doomed maiden voyage. I enjoyed that this story brought to vivid life the experience of the third-class passengers who perished in much greater numbers, mostly as a poo
Gill Paul
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Confessions first: I’m a long-time Titanorak, and have written my own Titanic novel (Women and Children First). I’m also a huge fan of Hazel Gaynor’s writing so the only surprise is that it’s taken me so long to read her take on the tragedy.
She writes about fourteen Irish folk in third class, loosely based on the Addergoole Fourteen, and there’s particular focus on young Maggie Murphy, who has left behind her sweetheart Seamus, as well as a third-class steward called Harry Walsh who falls for Ma
Lindsey Gandhi
I just need to start this off by saying I thought this book was simply AMAZING!!!!! I love historical fiction, so I was pretty sure I would like this. And I've read another of Hazel Gaynor's books that I loved, so again I was pretty sure I would like this one. The Girl Who Came Home blew me away. From the beginning I felt like I was one of those girls from Ireland excitingly and bravely going off to travel across the Atlantic to America. As I was reading, I felt like I was the silly girl running ...more
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
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I loved this historical fiction story centered around a Titanic survivor. I was captivated by Maggie's story as she finally opens up to her great-granddaughter about her experiences on the Titanic. We follow a group of 14 who travel from the same town in Ireland to seek a new life in America. There are a few side stories of the loved ones both in America and in Ireland.

I was completely captivated while reading this. I anticipated with hope for a few events to happen and was surprised by others.
Sue Seligman
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think that this is the first historical novel written by Hazel Gaynor, and it was amazing. I guess I read her books in reverse order, starting with her most recent, The Cottingley Secret, followed by A Memory of Violets, and finally, The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic. The novel opens as Maggie Murphy of Ballysheen, County Mayo in Ireland is preparing to join her aunt and twelve other friends from this small Irish community to travel on the maiden voyage of the supposedly “unsinkab ...more
April (Getting Hygge With It)
This was a sweet book about a titanic survivor and her great grand daughter. It definitely pulled me in but I found the characters to be a little flat. There is also a romance in here that didn't actually bother me too much (which is RARE for me). Also a nice little twist at the end that I didn't see coming.
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
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Hazel Gaynor is an award-winning New York Times, USA Today, Irish Times, and international bestselling author. Her 2014 debut THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME won the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award, A MEMORY OF VIOLETS was a 2015 WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY was shortlisted for the 201 Irish Book Awards, and THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S DAUGHTER was shortlisted for the 2019 HWA ...more

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