Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic by Hazel Gaynor

Author: Hazel Gaynor
Publish Date: March 1, 2012
ISBN: 9780062316868
List Price: $9.48
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Jacket Synopsis:
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 sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again.

Chicago, 1982 . . .

Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her great-grandmother Maggie shares the painful secret about Titanic that she's harbored for almost a lifetime, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads both her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.

Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home poignantly blends fact and fiction to explore the Titanic tragedy's impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.

My Comments:
I thought this was a great read. I am a huge fan of historical fiction and I really enjoyed the way the author intertwined current day with the 1912 memories of the characters. In this story, the author takes true stories from the Titanic and real people who sailed, changes their names, and adds historical fiction to really engage the reader. This was a book I couldn't put down and I loved every bit of the story. Titanic has always interested in and to put it with historical fiction only makes it that more exciting. The story is so engaging you do not really know up until the end of the book who survives and what they leave behind... to share with their family and the readers...

I loved the author's writing style. Even though you are flipping from 1982 to the 1912, the author lays the chapters out logically and the changes in time are easily made so that you are able to take yourself from one time period to another. She also writes this story so vividly you can imagine yourself in 1912 with all the splendor that Titanic was and even as Maggie and her party of traveling across Ireland to meet the amazing ship for their voyage to America... you can feel yourself riding in the traps, walking alongside Titanic in wonder, and amazed at all there is in the third class... even a sink in your cabin!

I look forward to more books from this author!

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Author: Gayle Forman
Publish Date: April 2, 2009
ISBN: 0525421033
List Price: $9.99
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Jacket Synopsis:
Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

My Comments:
This is a cute, quick read. A range of emotions is experienced in her whole 24 hour period to decide to live or die in her purgatory type state. I really liked the story and the idea that we have a choice under certain circumstances to choose life or death from a third party view, contemplating, evaluating and checking the pros and cons of our choice. It was exciting and a book I couldn't put down ... but ... the end was a let down ... not in the inevitable decision Mia makes but in that it was so uneventful and abruptly ends without any emotion (happy or sad)... it just ends. It just seemed to be so much build... memories, decisions, visitors opinions, etc. and then done. I am not interested in picking up the second book to this one. I read the first chapter and "boring"... on to a new book and author.

I liked the writing style of Gayle Forman, but I just wish the ending was more fulfilling ... some kind of closure rather than it seeming that you "have" to go to book two to get that closure... Nope, not doing it.

I am interested in seeing the movie being made about the story to see which way Hardwicke takes it in (same director as Twilight). She always has an interesting interpretations of the book.