If you haven’t noticed, I’m an extremely situational reader. In summer I read books with nautical settings, in winter the books must have snow, and in April, I try to read books with characters travelling on ships, especially the Titanic. The Girl Who Came Home used several characters to explore the decks of the Titanic. In the present, Maggie’s retelling of her crossing helped refocus her granddaughter on living her life to the fullest. In the past, Maggie struggled to leave her love behind in Ireland as she set sail on the grandest ship ever built.
Maggie, along with a group of young people from Ireland, headed for America and explored the ship with eagerness. They anxiously left their steerage berths to catch a glimpse of the wealthy passengers in first class. Maggie and her friends had high spirits and were delightful to follow. The retelling of the sinking was done very well. The author folded in many details about the decisions that lead to the ship crashing into the iceberg, and also about how some people reached a lifeboat and others didn’t. I was disappointed with the author when Maggie became distraught over losing letters on the ship. Letters hardly compared to the enormous loss of life, which trivialized her loss. Without seeming rushed, the story even recounted the chaos that the survivor’s encountered once they reached New York. The joint narration in the past and present blended perfectly at the end of the book to create a complete story of Maggie’s life. This was such a joy to read!
This was one of the better books I read set on Titanic, with The Dressmaker being my other favorite!