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April book club - A Dangerous Crossing

(104 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 04-Apr-17 10:20:36

Copies of our wonderful April book - A Dangerous Crossing - are on their way so here's the thread for your comments etc. Don't forget, if you do receive a free copy of the book you will need to leave your questions for the author/reviews (don't forget to mark anything that gives things away with a spoiler alert!) etc on here by the end of the month

loopylou Mon 10-Apr-17 12:31:03

What an engrossing read! I was totally captivated, it's nothing like my usual genre and I'd love to know if there's going to be a sequel.

annsixty Mon 10-Apr-17 12:47:32

I really enjoyed this book. I have read many of the different Golden Age of Crime and this lived up to my expectations. We knew a murder had been committed but had to wait right until the end to find out who and why.
One thing stood out though for me, in the 1930's did one know about being "touched inappropriately"? I thought that was very much a recent expression. I look forward to more crime books by this author.

Hameringham Mon 10-Apr-17 14:18:13

Thank you for my copy. I am really enjoying the graphic detail of the characters and the places that are visited. Well done Rachel this is a real page turner of a story.

inishowen Mon 10-Apr-17 14:27:36

I'm halfway through the book and really enjoying it. I even took it with me to read in the car today. My great aunt Edie went on a voyage like this in the sixties. She went to New Zealand. She says she was treated like a VIP throughout the trip. I will come back to this thread when I've finished.

weather Mon 10-Apr-17 17:12:20

Thankyou so much for sending me this book. I am just about to start it tonight. So nice to have a hardback too I find this always adds to the enjoyment, it has a very interesting cover too. I will come back again with my thoughts.

cornergran Tue 11-Apr-17 18:35:39

It took a couple of chapters for me to settle into this book, then I became fascinated by the unfolding characters. The 'feel' of life on board the ship was almost touchable. The dynamics between the characters uncomfortable when understood at times but always believable. Well researched and written in a style that draws the reader in. I was sad when I had finished it, will pass it to a friend and will look out for more by this author. I'd love to know how Rachel felt when her book was published.

Gagagran Tue 11-Apr-17 19:13:59

My first thought after reading this book was what a cracking film it would make and I really hope someone does just that. The characters and scenery and dialogue are already there in the story so there is a film scrip almost there!

I endorse the comments above about the skillful setting of the atmosphere aboard ship on a long voyage, and the class distinctions which were the norm. I liked Lily and found her very believable. Not too keen on Ida though I have come across people like her and she too was therefore believable. I was waiting all through the book to find out what was only revealed at the end so a good plot twist.

I'd love to know from Rachel if there has been any suggestion of a film?

Purpledaffodil Tue 11-Apr-17 20:34:00

I loved this book and was sad to finish it. It is beautifully written and I would say well researched.
Without spoiling the plot, I did wonder why the ending had been "given away" in the first few pages. I need not have worried, but will say no more. grin
I should like to ask the author if she too was sad to bid farewell to her characters at the end of the book and whether the postscript is a hint that we shall hear more of them and their life in Australia.

grandmaz Sat 15-Apr-17 08:47:51

Thank you for this great book - I have just finished it and as with many books that I really enjoy, I feel a bit bereft...the characters come to life so effortlessly and having been on such an Ocean Liner myself as a very young child, the descriptions bring back memories which I haven't thought of for decades.

It took me a chapter or so to get used to the 'present tense' style of narrative but the storyline and the fate of the characters set against the threat of war 'back home' really appealed to me.

I shall certainly look for future books from Rachel Rhys on my regular trips to our local library.

Thanks so much GN for sending me the book - I really did love reading it.

annsixty Sat 15-Apr-17 08:57:21

I did wonder if those travelling on an "assisted passage" and the ones referred to in the 50s and 60s as "£10 poms" when they travelled for a new life for £10 each, really had such a luxury experience,almost like a fully paid for cruise. As the author seemed so true in her descriptions, which so enriched the book, I must presume they did.
What a wonderful start to a new life.

harrigran Sat 15-Apr-17 10:02:24

I found this book very easy to read, the story flowed effortlessly.
I could have written this book as my grandmother made the exact trip in the thirties and told me about the great adventure, only difference being that she was not a 'ten pound pom' as she paid full fare and continued her journey after Sydney when she travelled on to New Zealand.
I could picture Lily, Ida and Eliza and see their clothes so vivid were the descriptions.
I warmed to Max and felt sorry for him but I had Edward sussed from the very beginning.
A very well researched book because the clothes, music and sayings of the time all tally with what my GM told me and created a social history of the time.
Rachel, I would have loved to know a little about Lily's job and who she married but I understand the story was about the crossing and not Lily's life story.
I am adding the photograph of my grandmother on her voyage of a lifetime, mine came back by the way she was just visiting her sisters.

Greenfinch Sat 15-Apr-17 10:49:49

I am loving the book as I went out with my parents 10 years later on the scheme.As I was only 3 I cannot remember very much about it but I do remember that my parents slept in segregated cabins and we could not eat together as a family.I was left alone in the cabin while the adults went to dinner.The cabin steward came in and I was frightened of him and I did not like the creche either so it was not a very happy passage for me.It was 6 weeks of nothing but sea with the occasional stop and left me with a fear of the sea.No doubt there were others who enjoyed the experience.

GeminiJen Sat 15-Apr-17 11:41:28

Thanks to this book club, I’ve been reading books I wouldn’t normally have chosen. So thanks, Gransnet, for introducing me to this author. Thanks too to Rachel Rhys for a thoroughly enjoyable read.
A Dangerous Crossing has a great sense of place and time, an intriguing plot and a dramatic but credible twist at the end. When the voyage from Tilbury Docks to Australia begins at the end of July 1939, the threat of war is hanging over Europe but there is still hope for a resolution. The author works this uncertainty through the plot, along with the increasingly claustrophobic atmosphere of forced intimacy aboard the ship. There are Jewish and Italian passengers on board, fleeing from Hitler and Mussolini, and we witness the anti-Semitism and xenophobia of the time. The atmosphere of the ship is vividly portrayed and the characterisation excellent. The story is told in the third person but as secrets are revealed we see it all from Lily’s rather naïve perspective. I liked the way in which Rhys managed to make Lily likeable and empathetic while also allowing the reader to see her flaws and weaknesses. All the characters were well drawn. There were some jarring notes for me: e.g. the reference to inappropriate touching didn’t seem right for the time. And Lily’s quite extensive selection of clothes seemed at odds both with her background in domestic service and with the wardrobes of her cabin mates.
That said, I’ll be looking out for more Rachel Rhys/Tammy Cohen in the future smile
I have three questions for the author.
1.Any prospect of a film/TV adaptation?...I’d look forward to it.
2.Why the pseudonym?....Simply for the change of genre?
3.Are the Sydney Morning Herald excerpt and documents ‘real’?......or should we believe that: All lines are blurred, all truth becomes, by the act of retelling it, a fiction ?

granfromafar Sat 15-Apr-17 20:34:03

I was so pleased that I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book. Like others, I had trouble putting it down as I was so eager to find out what happened, and was a little sad when it was finished. A thoroughly enjoyable read and will search out other novels by Tammy Cohen/Rachel Rhys.

chelseababy Sun 16-Apr-17 11:24:19

Just finished this book when I should have been doing housework! Didn't want the book to finish and there were certainly many twists and turns. It struck me how easy it would be today to "google" other guests to find out about their shady past. In 1939 the passengers were reliant on the ship noticeboard and newspapers in port for news from outside. Will be keeping an eye out for future novels by this author.

mbody Sun 16-Apr-17 11:27:17

Very readable and enjoyable book which flowed well giving a good flavour of the time.

weather Sun 16-Apr-17 18:38:34

I have just finished reading this book...Very pleased I did it proved to be very interesting and a surprise ending. I love travel and reading about various places I may or may not have visited so this was really excellent reading for me in this regard.
Its always difficult to write a review on a book as you don't want to give anything away so that the next reader will have the same enjoyment, all I can really say so as not to give anything away is: please do read it.
I enjoyed it and I am sure you dear reader will too.

gillybob Sun 16-Apr-17 21:06:46

I am running a bit behind everyone else after my copy was held captive in my sorting office which has recently drastically cut its hours of opening. Finally got my book (thank you Gransnet) And I almost half way through. Thoroughly enjoying it and can picture the characters and almost hear them speaking. So far I am not sure about Edward (something fishy??) Can't wait to finish it now. smile

annsixty Sun 16-Apr-17 21:23:56

I don't think I have read such positive reviews for a long time. Rachel Rhys can feel very proud of her venture into crime novels. I hope she writes many more. She has a ready audience here,

Pittcity Sun 16-Apr-17 21:30:38

Just finished and agree with everyone else that this was a brilliantly written book.
You think that the ending is given away in the first pages. The rest builds up to a twist that turns that on it's head.
Excellent historical and geographical detail brings it all to life.
I always hated those fox headed fur stoles!

Waveney Mon 17-Apr-17 14:16:20

I stayed up well too late last night to finish this book, I couldn't have managed to delay finding out the ending until today ( it's a good job it's a bank holiday, and I am not on grandchildren dutysmile)
I really enjoyed the atmosphere the author created, and the historical details added to its charm - I could imagine my parents in this sort of setting. The story was believable and I did not anticipate the twist at the end ( thank you, Gransnetters, for not revealing it on this thread
It did occur to me that some of the themes, particularly those surrounding people forced to flee their homeland, were as relevant today, and I wonder if the author was conscious of this as she wrote. I would also like to know if she has thought about taking some of the other characters and developing their stories ( such as Ida)
I would agree that this book has deservedly had some of the most positive reviews I have read, and I look forward to reading Rachel Rhys' next novel.

gillyknits Tue 18-Apr-17 15:43:54

I too really enjoyed this book. I was gripped from the first page and could really picture the characters and the scenes from such beautifully descriptive writing. The placing of the novel in the year that war was declared built up the tension on board and added another dimension to the book.
I could see this being made into an excellent film (as mentioned previously) and have even been thinking which actors could play the various parts.
My questions to Rachael : Are you going to write more books in this genre and would you consider a sequel to tell us more of Lily's life in Australia?

DavidH22 Tue 18-Apr-17 16:30:54

Got to agree with all the other positive reviews this book has had. It is an enthralling read bringing to life the atmosphere on a ship of that sort along with the period the story is set in. The contrasts with the characters' personalities and the classes they are meant to be from at that time also rang true although I did feel they were fitting in with the stereotypes we may have come to believe to have existed then from other stories, TV and films. I kept expecting a body to suddenly be found so the climax came as a surprise which I enjoyed as a reader. Sorry, I don't have any questions that have not already been asked so I look forward to reading those answers.

Dollymay89 Tue 18-Apr-17 17:13:08

Iv just joined today. I'm, enjoying looking around the site. My Hobby is reading books is there a chat page please? I can talk to other people yours sincerely

GG62 Tue 18-Apr-17 21:40:40

I've been unlucky again! Anyone know the numbers of books sent out and the number of gransnetters who apply?