Crossing on the Paris is the debut novel by Dana Gynther. Thank you to Simon and Schuster for a copy to review. She brings a story of three womens’ journey from three different classes. The Paris is an actual ship that sailed the seas in the early 1900s. How many of you remember the movie Titanic? No, I am not talking about a sinking ship which does not happen in this story. The film Titanic illustrated so well the class restrictions in the story.
Three women have a plan for the journey on the Paris. Vera hopes that by leaving on the Paris her longtime companion might stop her, and choose to spend out the rest of her days together. Did I mention that she is first class? But will he? Who are these other women she keeps running into? Constance Stone is coming back from trying to convince her sister that she should come home and help in the care of their mother. Constance journeys in second class. How successful will she be? How can she occupy herself on the journey back? The third woman in third class is Julie Vernet who is working on the Paris as a stirrage maid. She has great dreams of actually working on one of the ships that come into the port town of Le Havre. Will it be everything she hopes? Will these three women meet?
I liked Crossing on the Paris. It is the journey of these three women that keeps the story interesting. The author compels you to continue through story switching seamlessly between each woman’s story. I felt a great deal of compassion for the character of Julie Vernet and her story. I felt so bad for all of them. It is amazing how conflicts can lead to great character and perseverance.
The historical setting for this novel is set in 1921. The actual Paris set sail in 1913 according to the author’s notes. She changed the setting slightly for her story. It still works to tell the stories of Vera, Constance, and Julie.