The youngest of the three women this book focuses on is the lower class. She works on the ship, lives in steerage, is not taking well to a life at sea. I'd say she was my favorite. She has a birthmark on her face that sadly, in most people's eyes, makes her unattractive. Worse, SHE feels unattractive. This makes her susceptible to a certain engine worker's charms. The entire novel is a learning experience for this girl. Her story is sad and triumphant both.
The middle-aged lady is married with three children. She's just stepped away from her sister's shadow in Paris, her flamboyant, daring, deliriously happy sister, and she is going back to her boring life with her boring husband. When a handsome doctor shows her attention, she's tempted to do things she has never done before. But sometimes it takes a walk on the wild side to see what one really does have.
The old lady is dying of breast cancer and meets with a shock on the ship. Her past catches up with her so to speak. How will she choose to handle it? Is it too late to right a wrong? When does doing the "right" thing become bad?
Quibbles: Julie's bits were my favorite, but I got tired of hearing about her dead brothers. It goes on and on and after a while, I began to skim those parts. Constance..I would have liked to see her story turn out a bit differently, but that's just me. I'm wicked. Vera...while I appreciated her reminiscing her journal and memories also bored me. I was really only interest in the here and now, the ship, the drama, and all the pontificating about the brothers and lovers grew tiresome.
Otherwise, I must say, the historical setting was very well done. I really felt as though I was on the ship, whether it was in the hatcheck or the engine room or the deck. The author also has a good writing style, and I appreciated that not everything ended all hunky dory. Life doesn't always end perfectly and I was pleased that I wasn't able to predict every single turn of this novel, nor the ending.
Three bikes. I received this from Netgalley.