Crossing on the Paris

Crossing on the Paris

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.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451678239 | 
  • November 2012
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Woman in the Photograph includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Model and woman-about-town Lee Miller moves to Paris determined to make herself known amidst the giddy circle of celebrated artists, authors, and photographers currently holding court in the city. She seeks out the charming, charismatic artist Man Ray to become his assistant but soon becomes much more than that: his model, his lover, his muse.

Coming into her own more fully every day, Lee models, begins working on her own projects, and even stars in a film, provoking the jealousy of the older and possessive Man Ray. Drinking and carousing is the order of the day, but while hobnobbing with the likes of Picasso and Charlie Chaplin, she also falls in love with the art of photography and finds that her own vision can no longer come second to her mentor’s. The Woman in the Photograph is a richly drawn, tempestuous novel about a talented and fearless young woman caught up in one of the most fascinating times of the twentieth century.

Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. Early in their affair, Lee notes that “ see more

Articles About This Book


Posted on XOXO After Dark

Posted by Melissa Bendixen

Meet Dana Gynther, author of THE WOMAN IN THE PHOTOGRAPH and revision extraordinaire! Every author must cut parts of her first draft to get to the true meat of every story, but some cuts are harder to make than others-- especially once an author...

More Books from this Author

The Woman in the Photograph

About the Author

Dana Gynther
Photograph by Claudia Garcia

Dana Gynther

Dana Gynther was raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and Auburn, Alabama. She has an MA in French Literature from the University of Alabama. She has lived in France and currently lives in Valencia, Spain, where she and her husband work as teachers and translators. They have two daughters and an extremely vocal cat.