Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Crossing On The Paris by Dana Gynther ~ review

Crossing on the Paris

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451678231
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451678239

This book is also available as an e-book.

November 13, 2012

The opulent age of empires is ending, but the great queens of the sea— the magnificent ocean liners—continue to reign supreme. Despite the tragedy of the Titanic, the race to build ever larger and more luxurious floating palaces continues, and passengers still flock to make the Atlantic crossing in style.
In 1921,the SS Paris leaves Le Havre on her maiden voyage. Aboard, passengers dine in glittering grandeur on French cuisine, served by hundreds of unnoticed servants and chefs. Below the waterline, the modern oil-fired engines throb day and night. And for three women, this voyage will profoundly change their lives.
Traveling first class, elderly Vera Sinclair is reluctantly moving back to Manhattan after thirty wonderful years abroad. In cozy second class, reveling in her brief freedom from family life, Constance Stone is returning after a failed mission to bring her errant sister home from France. And in the stifling servants’ quarters, young Le Havre native Julie Vernet is testing her wings in her first job as she sets out to forge her own future. For all three, in different ways, this transatlantic voyage will be a life-changing journey of the heart.

My take on this book:
As a historical fiction fan I found this book an easy to like read. The year is 1921 and the SS Paris has just embarked on her maiden voyage. We meet three very different women each making the transatlantic voyage for very different reasons. 

Each of the characters easily came to life for me. I thought it was great that each woman was different but also similar, because they will each be changed by the voyage. Vera is an older woman who is moving back to New York after living abroad for the last thirty years. Constance finds herself returning home alone after failing to bring her sister Faith home, while Julie Vernet has just gotten her first job, and has her whole life ahead of her.I really enjoyed each character, but Vera's story really touched my heart.

If you enjoy historical fiction tales that draw you back in time. Where each character is dealing with life issues, that provide an interesting read, you really should pick up "Crossing on the Paris." An added bonus was the eye catching cover, it really appealed to me.

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About the author:
Dana Gynther was born in St Louis and, at the age of ten, moved to Auburn, Alabama. She attended the University of Alabama, majoring in Political Science and French. After she received her BA, she spent a year and half in France, first working as an au pair in a village near Bordeaux, then bumming around Paris. When she returned to the States, she went back to UA and received an MA in French Literature; her thesis explored the mother figure in the works of Marguerite Duras. She and her French-speaking Spanish husband moved to his hometown, Valencia (Spain), in 1994, where they work as teachers and translators and enjoy spending time with their two daughters.  
"Crossing on the Paris," her debut novel, was inspired by translating the museum catalog "Gigantes del Atlantico: Los Paquebotes de la French Line" (Giants of the Atlantic: Ocean Steamers of the French Line). While working on that translation, she became fascinated by the aesthetics, mechanics, food and entertainment, and social structures on board those floating cities. She has just completed another novel (also prompted by a translation job) called "The Admiral's Baths." Another work of historical fiction, this novel revolves around a monument in Valencia-- a public bathhouse open for business from 1313-1959.

To learn more about "Crossing on the Paris" be sure and drop by the author's blog. http://danagynther.com/

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review, and I can honestly say that I certainly enjoyed being transported to a different time with this read.


  1. Thanks so much for your insightful review! probably shouldn't say this, but Vera is my favorite character as well.
    I'm linking your blog to my website, which I'm attaching here. We've just put up a radio interview and a video which might interest readers. In few months time, I'll also be adding some scenes that were cut during the editing process... so there's more to come! Thanks again.

    Cheers-- Dana


    1. Thanks so much for dropping by.Vera's story really resonated with me.


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