Crossing on the Paris
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.
Reading Group Guide
It is June 15, 1921, and the Paris ocean liner is about to make its maiden voyage, setting sail from France and headed for New York by way of England in the aftermath of World War I. Vera Sinclair, Constance Stone, and Julie Vernet board the ocean liner as strangers, each one carrying a unique sorrow and hope as they begin their transatlantic voyage. As the story of each woman unfolds, Crossing on the Paris turns out to be much more than an ocean crossing—it is a journey of transformation.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Readers are introduced to Constance Stone, Vera Sinclair, and Julie Vernet in the prologue. What was your initial impression of each woman? What did you learn about each character in this short introduction?
2. Each woman is a passenger on a different level of the Paris, representing the different social class distinctions. What were their impressions and attitudes toward the other classes? What were some of the ways each class was p see more