WILLIAM MORROW is thrilled to publish Hazel Gaynor’s debut novel, THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME: A Novel of the Titanic
Her story is inspired by true events surrounding the Addergoole 14—members of a church parish in County Mayo, Ireland that set sail together on RMS Titanic, all hoping to find a brighter future in America. It is believed that the losses suffered by the parish in the Titanic disaster were the largest proportionate loss of life from any locality.
Seventeen year old Maggie Murphy feels bittersweet about her journey across the Atlantic Ocean. While her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in the country with Séamus, the sweetheart she is leaving behind. Maggie is one of the fortunate few passengers in steerage who survives on April 15th, 1912. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that night again.
Weaving in and out of Maggie’s voyage and Chicago, 1982, Gaynor introduces the reader to twenty-one year old Grace Butler. When her Great Nana Maggie shares the painful secret she harbored for almost a lifetime about Titanic, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those thought to be lost long ago.
Gaynor’s poignant tale seamlessly blends fact and fiction, exploring the tragedy’s impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants. With snippets of actual Marconigrams—telegrams sent through the Marconi Company between Titanic and Carpathia
and between Carpathia and the White Star Line office—THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME is a story of enduring love and forgiveness, spanning seventy years, and a real source of fascination for history buffs and Titanic enthusiasts.
One Grand Prize winner will receive the iconic New York Times Titanic poster!
Great for framing & a perfect collectible for Titanic aficionados! CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!
THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME is available now at
It was a year after they’d first danced at the Brennans’ wedding that she’d finally found the courage to tell him the news she had been dreading.
“I’m goin’ to America, Séamus,” she’d said, as they sat by the fireside playing cards on a wet, dark January evening. “It’s all decided. I’m to go with Aunt Kathleen to Chicago. Peggy Madden, Katie Kenny, and the Brennans are to travel with us—and some others.” The crackle and spit from the fire had filled the silence which descended upon the young couple. Séamus hadn’t spoken. “We’re to go in the spring.”
The rain had lashed against the windows. There’d been no other sound. Even the fire had seemed to momentarily hush itself.
“We’re to sail on a new liner called Titanic. They say it’s the biggest, finest, safest ocean liner there’s ever been built,” she’d added, more to break the unbearable silence than anything. She’d felt silly then. Why had she told him this? Who cared about the ship or how big it was? That was the sort of stuff that her cousin, Pat Brogan, and Peggy Madden were interested in, not her. To Maggie, the ship they would sail on was an entirely insignificant fact amid the reality of what the departure meant for her and Séamus.
He’d maintained his silence, throwing another sod of turf onto the fire, which sent a wave of moist, earthy smoke billowing across the room.
“Would you think of coming too?” she’d added hesitantly, already knowing his answer.
He’d looked at her, this young man she adored with the uncomplicated certainty of youth, his cheeks rosy from the warmth of the flames. “Ah, Maggie, you know I can’t. Not with Da so sick an’ all. Anyway, we haven’t a shillin’ to our name. I could never be affording one of those boat tickets, never mind two, even if he was well enough.”
They’d talked before about the prospect of emigrating, it being a common occurrence in the parish. Séamus had a brother in Philadelphia, who sent home as much money as he could afford, but with his mam dead and his da too ill to travel, Séamus knew that a trip to America would not be his for the making anytime soon. Maggie’s fate, however, lay entirely in the hands of Aunt Kathleen, who had first made the trip to America herself twenty years ago and was completely enamored with the place. She’d written often to her niece about the possibility of joining her in Chicago, about how America offered much better prospects for young women than Ireland ever could, but one thing or another had always prevented it from happening. However, this time was different. With nobody to care for Maggie in Ireland, Aunt Kathleen had made up her mind: her niece would go back to Chicago with her in the spring. And no matter how much this arrangement might break Maggie’s heart, there was no changing Kathleen Dolan’s mind once it was made up.
Hazel Gaynor is an exciting new voice in historical fiction. Her writing has been featured in the Sunday Times Magazine and Irish Times, and she was the recipient of the 2012 Cecil Day Lewis award for Emerging Writers. Originally from North Yorkshire, England, Hazel now lives in Ireland with her husband, and two young children. For more information, please visit her on the web at http://www.hazelgaynor.com/