Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

The Girl Who Came Home - a Titanic novel

JULY 2013 UPDATE: The Girl Who Came Home will be republished in paperback by William Morrow Books (HarperCollins) in April 2014, with my second novel Daughters of the Flowers to follow in early 2015. Please visit for further information.

April 15th, 2012 will mark the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic. To mark this historic event, I am very proud to have completed a bit of a lifetime's ambition by writing a novel about Titanic.

The Girl Who Came Home is a story of enduring love and forgiveness, spanning seventy years. It is also the story of 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 a devastating loss of life.

In a rural village in Ireland 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 in the New World, Maggie is distraught to be leaving Séamus, the man she loves with all her heart. She clutches a packet of love letters in her coat pocket and hopes that Séamus will join her in America soon.

As Third Class Steward, Harry Walsh, boards Titanic in Southampton, he is excited at the prospect of sailing on this much talked about ship. Befriending Maggie and the Irish group, Harry helps Maggie to send a telegram from the ship, but when Titanic hits the iceberg, Maggie’s message is only partly transmitted, leaving leave Séamus confused by what he reads back home in Ireland.

As the scale of the event unfolds, luck and love will decide the fate of the Irish emigrants and those whose lives they have touched on board the ship. Maggie survives –arriving in New York three days later with only the nightdress she is wearing, a small case and a borrowed coat, to her name. She has no idea what happened to her letters and doesn’t speak of Titanic again for seventy years.

In Chicago, 1982, twenty-one year old Grace Butler is stunned to learn that her Great Nana Maggie sailed on Titanic and sets out to write Maggie's story to resurrect her journalism career. When it is published, Grace receives a surprising phone call, starting a chain of events which will reveal the whereabouts of Maggie’s missing love letters and the fate of those she sailed with seventy years ago. A final journey back to Ireland reveals the full extent of Titanic’s secrets and allows Maggie to finally make peace with her past.

The Girl Who Came Home is available on the Kindle Store. 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’ – the loss of eleven passengers from the group representing the largest proportional loss of life from one region when Titanic sank.

I will be speaking at the 'Talking Titanic' event on Sunday 25th March 2012 as part of Waterford Writer's Weekend. See the Waterford writer's Weekend website for full event details.

Details of events taking place in significant Titanic locations this year to mark the centenary, click here and here.

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