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Crossing on the Paris

Crossing on the Paris

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

This reading group guide for Crossing on the Paris includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Dana Gynther. 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.


Introduction

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

About the Author

Dana Gynther

Dana Gynther was raised in St Louis, Missouri and Auburn, Alabama. She has a BA from the University of Alabama in Political Science and French and an MA in French Literature. She has lived in France and currently lives in Valencia, Spain, where both she and her husband Carlos are teachers and translators. They have two daughters, Claudia and Lucia. Crossing on the Paris is her first novel.

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