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 choices.
Constance Stone was sent to Paris at her father's request to bring home her free-spirited sister. After failing in her mission, she heads back to America as a second class passenger on the Paris. Constance has always been the dutiful daughter and wife, the devoted mother to her own three children, but at what cost? Seeing her sister's freedom in France makes Constance doubt her own life and happiness, or lack thereof.
Julie Vernet is a young, naive woman leaving her home in Le Havre for the first time. World War I has taken a great toll on her family, and she sees her new job as a steerage class waitress on the Paris as her escape. For Julie, life aboard ship is harsh, and her experiences make her desire to improve her circumstances even stronger.
I really enjoyed this book. I liked how the book's chapters were divided into the five days of the journey, and each character told her story about that day. I also liked how the author weaved in bits and pieces of the women's histories. This was not a fast paced book. It was a character-driven story, and the characters were well-drawn and easy to connect with.
I also loved the vivid descriptions of life aboard the Paris on its first transatlantic voyage, from the romance and glamour of the upper decks to the struggles of those "below the waterline." The author captured the essence of the 1920s beautifully.
CROSSING ON THE PARIS is a bittersweet tale fans of women's and historical fiction might enjoy.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher.