Title: Crossing on the Paris
Author: Dana Gynter
Review: Crossing on the Paris is the story of three women on the move, their lives all on the cusp of change with the insecurity that it brings. Set on the backdrop of the luxury liner The Paris’s maiden voyage to America at the turn of the century (think post WWI). Each interact to solidify or gently redirect themselves on to their proper destinations. You have Julie the young steerage maid who is just starting out in life, Costance the young mother in the middle, and Vera, the older socialite reaching the end of her life.
Julie has seen her four brothers lost to war, and has decided she needs a fresh start. Unsure of herself she begins with the view outside her window; the shipyards outside her home where luxury liners are built; including the aforementioned Paris. Having seen these ships for years she decides they are a ticket to adventure and signs on as a maid to make her way in the world. Unfortunately she discovers it is a hard life for a young woman on a cruise ship, and without the shelters of home or her brothers she finds herself soon taken advantage of. Literally lost at sea she is hurting and directionless.
Constance is a still beautiful young woman who got married young to a much older and stoic man, one who does not share her sense of adventure. Travelling back home to America alone after unsuccessfully trying to convince her more cosmopolitan younger sister to come home she is left to reevaluate her life so far. Seeing her sister so happy living for the moment and chasing hedonistic pursuits, she finds her life lacking. Soon as the Paris sets sail she is soon enamored by the sexy ship’s Doctor, and the life she didn’t chose is opened up for her. Seduced by what could have been she is unsure of what she should do. It is interesting she loses herself in detective novels as she is on the trail of her own answers too.
Vera is the older socialite who is coming home to America to essentially die after 35 years abroad. She is in a sense Constance’s younger sister who has pursued her own desires for a lifetime and is now reflecting back on all the decisions passed. As she struggles with her regrets she is befriended by our other two heroines and other passengers who help her see her worth. We all have regrets but the secret to happiness is to focus on the good, for no one’s life is completely one or the other.
As not to ruin the plot the three ladies eventually meet up and are able to provide support for their many indecisions, ultimately leading to resolutions for each of them. A great freshman effort by Dana Gynter who delivers a well written story. I would have enjoyed a little more plot development to “grab” me, and I will anxiously await that in her next book.
Publisher: Gallery Books
Quick Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me for review by the publisher
Synopsis: Downton Abbey meets Titanic in this sweeping historical novel about three women of different generations and classes, whose lives intersect on a majestic ocean liner traveling from Paris to New York in the wake of World War I.
The year is 1921. Three women set out on the impressive Paris ocean liner on a journey from Paris to New York. Julie Vernet is a young French woman from a working class family who has just gotten her first job as a crew worker on the ship. Escaping her small town and the memory of war, she longs for adventure on the high seas...
Constance Stone is a young American wife and mother who has traveled to Paris to rescue her bohemian sister, Faith, who steadfastly refuses to return to America and settle down. Constance returns home to New York, having failed at the duty her father asked of her...
Vera Sinclair, a rich, ex-patriate American is leaving France after thirty-one years to live out her remaining time home in America. Over the course of the transatlantic voyage, she reflects on her colorful life and looks forward to a quiet retirement. While each of these women come from different walks of life, their paths cross while at sea in a series of chance encounters. The powerful impact these disparate lives have on one another make for a magnificent and unforgettable read.