The Girl Who Came Home – A Titanic Novel

The Girl Who Came Home
Available in paperback and ebook from William Morrow Books (HarperCollins), April 2014
UPDATE AUGUST 2013: Please note that THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME will be republished in paperback and ebook formats by William Morrow/HarperCollins in April 2014. To read more about THE GIRL’s temporary disappearance (!) please follow this link . I will be posting regularly here on Whims & Tonic about THE GIRL’s exciting progress towards republication.


April 15th, 2012 marked the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic. To mark this historic event, I self-published my first novel ‘The Girl Who Came Home’. The novel was inspired by the true events surrounding a group of fourteen Irish emigrants who left their homes in County Mayo, Ireland, to travel on the maiden voyage of R.M.S Titanic to start a new life in America. The group is known locally as ‘The Addergoole Fourteen’.
Blending fact and fiction, the novel tells the human story of the tragedy, not just on board the ship itself, but extending beyond the immediate aftermath of the event to explore the emotions of relatives awaiting news back home and of the impact that night had on the survivors and their descendants. It is also a love letter to the world’s most famous ship, whose tragic legacy continues to captivate our hearts and imaginations one hundred years after she sank to the bottom of the Atlantic ocean with such devastating loss of life.
In a rural Irish village in April 1912, seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy is anxious about the trip to America. While the thirteen others she will travel with from her Parish anticipate a life of prosperity and opportunity, Maggie is distraught to be leaving Séamus, the man she loves with all her heart. As the carts rumble out of the village, she clutches a packet of love letters in her coat pocket and hopes that he will be able to join her in America soon.
In Southampton, England, Harry Walsh boards Titanic as a Third Class Steward, excited to be working on this magnificent ship. He befriends Maggie and her friends from the Irish group when they board in Queenstown and offers to help Maggie send a telegram home. But when Titanic hits an iceberg on the evening of April 14th, the telegram message is only partly transmitted, leaving Séamus confused by what he reads back home in Ireland, unaware as he is of what has happened to Maggie and the others. As the full scale of the disaster unfolds, luck and love will decide the fate of the Irish group and those whose lives they have touched on board the ship.Seventy years later, in Chicago, 1982, twenty-one year old Grace Butler is stunned to learn that her Great Nana Maggie sailed on Titanic. She sets out to write Maggie’s story as a way to resurrect her journalism career. Neither Grace nor Maggie can know what far-reaching impact the article will have on them both when it is eventually published.But it isn’t until a final journey back to Ireland that the fate of those Maggie had loved and sailed with seventy years ago is fully revealed, and only then is Maggie finally able make peace with her past.
The Girl Who Came Home is available on the Kindle Store. It can also be downloaded to free Kindle reading apps on iPhone, iPad and other devices.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debbie Kemarly
    Jul 04, 2013 @ 12:40:55

    The Girl who Came Home is a wonderful read! I have always been intrigued with the Titanic story. I loved this book!


  2. Barbara
    Jul 02, 2014 @ 02:13:01

    I have just finished The Girl who Came Home and cannot say enough good things about this book. I love historical fiction but especially those based on true events. My own grandmother,who was born in the later 1890’x, and whose family came from Ireland, would have been near the same age as Maggie. Will be looking forward to another book by you. .


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