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Crossing on the Paris

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3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  1,033 ratings  ·  182 reviews
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 f
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster Imprint) (first published November 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Lynn
I really enjoyed Crossing on the Paris. In this debut novel by Dana Gynther, three women are on the maiden voyage of the Paris, a luxury ocean liner headed for America from Le Harve, France. The women are described as "the maiden, the mother, and the crone". Each has her own reason for being on the ship -- each is escaping. The maiden, Julie, has taken a job on the ship, and is serving meals in steerage [3rd class]. Constance Stone is berthed in second class as she makes the trip back to her fam ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I won't rate this, because I didn't get very far before deciding to skip it. I'm sure it will delight many fans of mainstream fiction, but it was just too weak to keep me interested. It's a very basic plot written in a very basic style that makes my mind wander. Not only does it fail to fire the imagination, but I couldn't bear the plethora of word-use errors.
Vera Marie
In Crossing on the Paris , the ship and the details about passage in steerage, 2nd class and 1st class are all true to life although the women are fictional.

I’ll have to admit it is rather eerie reading a book about an old woman reflecting on her life when her name is the same as mine. The details of her life, however could not be more different. Vera had a brief unsuccessful marriage before moving to Paris where her best friend and almost constant companion was a gay man. She had a string of
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Jenifer
I requested Crossing on the Paris from the netgalley catalog because of my love of historical fiction. I was drawn to this title for a number of reasons. First, one of my favorite novels, Birdsong, is set in the same era (early 20th century). Second, I love stories that interweave different narratives. And thirdly (is that even a word?) the cover is professionally done and is just beautiful.

The novel spans the trans-atlantic maiden voyage of the fictional luxury liner, the Paris. The book is sep
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Robbins Library
The Paris made its first crossing from Europe to America in 1921, just nine years after the Titanic; in fact, Crossing on the Paris is pitched as "Downton Abbey meets Titanic." As a fan of both, I had high hopes for this book, but I was disappointed.

The plot device is thin, but not bad in itself: Julie, a young French woman whose four older brothers were killed in the war, finds work on the ship as a maid in steerage. Constance Stone, a married American with three daughters, is returning home in
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Kristi Lamont
So, when I finished this book, I told my husband that it was one of those I liked so much I did not want it to end, and that I wished "the author" had started it BEFORE the main characters boarded the ocean liner and continued it long after they had disembarked.

Full disclosure: I actually said the words "the author" as if I did not know the author, when in fact we have been very friendly if not friends in the conventional sense of the word for decades. Not sure if I can convey what true praise t
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Mary Dansak
Crossing on the Paris is simply a great book. The story of three women whose lives come together aboard the ocean liner, The Paris, in the 20's is the perfect backdrop for Gynther's fine storytelling. She sees right through the frail human condition, and takes us into the lives of her characters as they each reach their own defining moment. Crossing on the Paris is one of those rare books that transcends genre, and has a wide appeal to an enormous range of readers. This makes it not only a great ...more
Rrshively
It's 1921, and women now have a right to vote in the U.S. and Prohibition has started. Three women are starting on a voyage from France to the U.S. on a French luxury liner. One is old and in first class, the second is a married woman with three children traveling second class, and the third is a young woman who has obtained a job as a servant on the liner and is housed in plain quarters well below the water line. Is it even likely that these women will ever meet? Each of them has a back story a ...more
Orsolya
Won on GR Giveaways

With the general historical interest in ocean liners (due to the obviously popular Titanic); a historical fiction novel revolving around passengers on a large ship may seem like an instant “win”. Unfortunately, that is not the case with Dana Gynther’s “Crossing on the Paris”.

Although “Crossing on the Paris” engages a creative concept of following three strangers (Constance Stone, Vera Sinclair, and Julie Vernet) and their connections; the execution fails. The flatness of th
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Book Him Danno
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 ...more
Diana Leigh
In June of 1921, the Paris is making its maiden voyage across the Atlantic. The paths of three very different women will intersect on the ship, each one using the journey to reflect on her life.

Vera Sinclair is a wealthy, first class passenger on her way back to New York after decades of living in France. Vera's life was full of glamour and adventure, but now she's very sick and wants to return home. As she spends the journey reading over her journals, she begins to question some of her past cho
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Lynne
I'm unsure about this book. Imagine the Titanic and Downton Abbey in one setting … sounds pretty spectacular doesn’t it? And yet … this story doesn’t quite meet those expectations.

Told over the course of 5 days, as three characters; Vera (first class, wealthy, elderly lady), Constance (second class, married mother of 3), and Julie (steerage, young women employed as crew) cross from France to NYC on the ocean liner “The Paris”. I felt that often the dialogue felt inauthentic – I didn’t feel like
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Aimee
Crossing on the Paris is a great historical fiction book. Gynther does a great job of creating a detailed setting on board the Paris ocean liner, I really felt like I was right there with all three women. I was very impressed with how Gynther took the time to descibe all three social classes that were on the ship through the different social classes of each of the three main characters. Through Julie we see the difficulties of being below deck and the misery a lot of these people dealt with alon ...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Three different women board the ocean liner, Paris, for three different reasons. Each woman has a lesson to learn and an issue she must resolve. In alternating chapters we learn each woman's story as as the novel moves from second class to steerage to first class over the five day journey from Paris to New York.

Crossing on the Paris isn't a fast paced story with action. Instead, it is very much character driven and like the ocean liner in its title, the novel moves along steadily, but not quickl
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Candace
I really enjoyed this book. There was a few expected twists of the plot that I anticipated, and were proven true. However there were just as many unexpected twists as well. I liked how this book makes me feel as I close it, warm with the feeling of hope and bright adventures. Not all adventures are enjoyable, but in the end, none are regretted, because we know that each one, good or bad, has changed us in a way that we can build on. Looking back we know we would not be the same good person, if i ...more
Samantha Ford
There were so many directions this could have gone, but I am very happy with the outcome. I enjoyed the three main characters- not equally, but I did like the women a lot. I am still not sure if it's 4 stars or 5 for me. Maybe 4.5.
☔Diane S.
First one has to like novels,that are introspective, where nothing much happens but the unveiling of characters and a feel for the time and place of the 1920's. This worked for me to a certain point, I did have a favorite character, Vera, and we do get to know these characters thoroughly, from their considerable back stories, their hopes, their dreams and their reasons for being on this ocean liner. It wasn't a book that I hurried to pick up and I think it could have been edited a little tighter ...more
Laurie
My most excellent book source, a trusty friend and librarian, sent me a book list filled with suggestions sure to engage fans of Downton Abbey. I do not watch the series, but do appreciate a good story, so in I dove and came up with Crossing on the Paris. Would have given it 3.5 stars, but that isn't an option, and going with 4 did not feel true to my experience.

A most enjoyable read for summer, for an airplane flight, and for being on vacation, which are exactly the circumstances of my reading.
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Jessica
I really, really enjoyed "Crossing on the Paris".It tells the story of three women who are each travelling aboard the Paris liner on its maiden voyage. Their lives come together through their individual experiences aboard the ship. I was initially hesitant to read this book, but am really glad that I opened it. I would not only recommend it to others, but would give it as a gift and would consider buying a copy for myself (as the one that I read was from my local library).
Janice
I was intrigued by the premise of this book but was left wanting more. I don't mean more as in continuation. I mean more in terms of depth of story and depth of characters.

The novel is basically a vignette of three women and their stories. They were from different ages and different classes. I had hoped that they would have had more interaction, but they didn't actually meet until near the end of the book.
Jen
What a breezy and refreshing read!
Gender/femininity, class, relationships, love, war, storytelling, motivations, expectations and perceptions are explored via the interweaving of these three women's crossings, against the background of a maiden voyage of an Atlantic ocean liner in 1921.

By the by, I hope the engineman referred to on page 297 is Nikolai. Imagining that event is rather satisfying.
Frannie
I've read this several times. And, happy to have had this privilege. I must say, however, that I love her other (first and as-yet unpublished) novel even more. Look for "The Admiral's Baths" in the future. It's another work of historical fiction, one which revolves around a monument in Valencia-- a public bathhouse open for business from 1313-1959.
Jencey/
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.
Synopsis:
Three women have a plan for the journey
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Susan
Jul 25, 2013 Susan added it
Really enjoyed the crossing and the 3 ladies who meet aboard ship. There are historical characters aboard. One of the characters was singing a popular song about the Lusitania I didn't know existed, so had to track that down this morning. There was even a recording! This was one of those book journeys I didn't want to end.
Larry Hostetler
An interesting novel, following the trans-Atlantic voyage of a wealthy dowager, a middle-aged woman seeking to retrieve her sister from France, and a young woman from Le Havre working in steerage on the ship.

The premise allows for toggling back and forth from First Class to Second to steerage and staff, giving insight into what such a trip in 1921 would have been like. While it might sound like the publishing equivalent of a "chick flick" it held my interest and kept me engaged.

It wasn't until
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Carol Judge
The lives of three women, strangers and of different generations, come together toward the end of a trans-Atlantic crossing aboard the Paris in 1921 from France to the U.S. The novel is not so much about action, but more about three individuals' inner "journeys," as each deals with her own life issues (regrets, life decisions, hope, judgments, self-confidence ...), and eventually come to resolution. There is a great amount of detail about the ship, cultures aboard the ship, and the accommodation ...more
Pam
Very low 3 stars; just can't give it more and until I was over half way through, I wouldn't have been able to give it more than 2 or 2 1/2. The end saved it for me. It became a much better novel once they all finally started to know and care about each other. This was picked for our book club and I really wanted to like it but it just started out way too slow for me and took forever to pick up. It was somewhat repetitious and just didn't keep my attention. There was something about the way it wa ...more
Cheryl
Jan 05, 2013 Cheryl rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cheryl by: Barnes & Noble Advanced Reader Copy
An enjoyable read on a lovely spring day while sitting on a back porch swing and enjoying the sunshine surrounded by sleeping dogs and a purring cat.

Sensitive readers: (view spoiler)
Lynda
Whether you call it serendipity or divine appointment, the thread that weaves the stories and lives of the three women crossing the Atlantic on the maiden voyage of the Paris is sacred. I found it to be a delightful book.
Laurie
I really enjoyed taking the transatlantic trip on "The Paris" with the three women that the story is built around. These women represent three different stages in a woman's life and they become friends while traveling on the ship. The book covers many aspects and issues of the times. I did feel that some of the women's issues could have been developed a little more through conversation. The different levels of society were strongly contrasted in the different classes of passage on the ship. At t ...more
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Dana Gynther was born in St Louis but moved to the college town of Auburn, Alabama at the age of ten. She got both her BA and MA (Political Science and French, respectively) at the University of Alabama, spending a year and a half living in France in between. She and her husband moved to his hometown-- Valencia, Spain-- nearly twenty years ago where they work as teachers and translators. They have ...more
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