My Granny reads a lot. She goes through nearly a book a day, like some kind of elderly badkittyuno. Her taste is pretty decent. I introduced her to Liane Moriarty and in under two weeks she’d read everything she’d ever written. So when she enthusiastically recommended The Girl Who Came Home, I requested it from the library and bumped it to the top of my list. Not much gets to cut in my to-be-read line, but the woman is a months-away-from-70 pancreatic cancer survivor…frankly, who knows how long I have with her. So this one got read promptly.
Well…all I can say is maybe she’s read all the books at this point and is just making due with what’s left. (It’s possible.) Because this book was absolutely awful in every way.
Maggie is a 17 year old girl leaving her Irish village with 13 other people to extremely reluctantly start a new life in America. Alternating chapters are told by her college-aged granddaughter Grace, who is wallowing in the absolute, hands-down least compelling existential angst I’ve ever read. Interspersed are chapters from the POV of some random-ass people peripherally related with the whole thing. Maggie tells Grace about her experience on Titanic and both of their lives are changed.
If I went through this book with the red pen of Show Me, Don’t Tell me, I bet there would be five pages left, max. That is hardly an exaggeration. Every feeling, action, or motivation is clearly and repeatedly explained. It was painful.
I can’t even bring myself to round this mess up to two stars. The plot twist at the end was kind of aww but it also opened up about 90 plot holes bigger than the Titanic itself. The actual sinking of the ship (sorry, forgot my spoiler alert) was mildly, mildly interesting. So it deserves maybe a…1.2. Sorry, Granny.