By Dana Gynther
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pub.Date: November 13, 2012
I received an advanced copy of Crossing on the Paris a few months ago courtesy of Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review. Normally I don't read many books that are set during the early twentieth century, but I was intrigued by the cover art and thought that I would at least give it a try.
In the debut novel from author Dana Gynther, set sail aboard the ocean liner the Paris on its maiden voyage from Le Havre, France to New York during the year 1921. The plot centers around three women from different backgrounds.
Julie Vernet has suffered many losses during her lifetime. She lost her brothers during WWI and is still grieving. She is spent all of her life in poverty in France and when she got a chance to work in the steerage class (3rd class) as a maid, she eagerly took it. Her expectations for the life aboard a liner were high, but she was in for a shock as to how the 3rd class lived. Just when she is at her lowest, she begins a romance with a handsome engineer.
Constance Stone had traveled to Paris to persuade her younger sister, Faith, to return home to help take care of their mother, whose health is failing. Her attempt was unsuccessful and she takes sail on the Paris in 2nd class, dreading her return home to her loveless marriage. She wonders what it would be like to start a new life just like her sister did. When she arrives on the Paris she tells everyone that she is single!
After spending thirty years living in Paris, Vera Sinclair is now heading back to America in 1st class as she is extremely wealthy. She recently found out from the doctors that she is dying.
When I received the book, I automatically read the blurb on the back cover. Then I rolled my eyes as I learned that the book took place on another ocean liner as the setting has been done to death since the 1997 Titanic movie. I tossed the book on my desk and didn't pick it up until last week. Surprisingly, the setting has little to do with the actually plot(s), but it is about three women from different classes that are each making life changing decisions. Vera is returning home to die, Constance is having a fling with another passenger, and Vera is looking for a new start. This is a completely different book than what I was expecting it to be. Instead of a silly romantic tale on an ocean liner, the book is about life's difficult choices. Crossing on the Paris is an emotional rollercoaster that is very well written with characters that you feel for. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book and I highly recommend it to others.