Tuesday 27 November 2012

Review - Crossing on the Paris by Dana Gynther

Crossing on the Paris
Published 13 November
Simon and Schuster

Crossing on the Paris
Dana Gynther

In 1921 when the transatlantic ocean liner, the Paris, leaves France bound for New York, three very different women are on board.

In first class, wealthy socialite Vera Sinclair, now gravely ill is returning home to die; she is struggling to cope with her memories of the past and yet finds comfort re-reading her written journals. In second class, dissatisfied wife and daughter Constance Stone has just made an unsuccessful journey to Paris to entice her younger sister to make the journey back to New York to spend time with their sick mother. Meanwhile in steerage, Julie Vernet is escaping post WW1 Paris and the loss of her three brothers, she is attempting to  make a new life for herself by working on board one of the ships she has watched from her home in the French port of Le Havre.

All too soon the class division on board ship is evident and as the story moves between women we are treated to a social commentary which explores not just class distinction but also what it means to be female in the early part of the twentieth century. The interesting comparison which emphasises the class differences between the three women is well observed, and both the unpleasantness and the glamour of life on board ship with its petty squabbles is believable and thought provoking. 

Whilst the women portrayed are all very different characters their shared experiences makes for a fascinating and sympathetic story and reveals much about life and society in the 1920’s.

My thanks to NetGalley and simon and Schuster for a copy of this book to read and review.

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