The Last Cruise

The Last Cruise

A Novel

Book - 2018
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The 1950s vintage ocean liner Queen Isabella is making her final voyage before heading to the scrapyard. For the guests on board, among them Christine Thorne, a former journalist turned Maine farmer, it's a chance to experience the bygone mid-20th century era of decadent luxury cruising, complete with fine dining, classic highballs, string quartets, and sophisticated jazz. Smoking is allowed but not cell phones--or children, for that matter. The Isabella sets sail from Long Beach, CA into calm seas on a two-week retro cruise to Hawaii and back. But this is the second decade of an uncertain new millennium, not the sunny, heedless fifties, and certain disquieting signs of strife and malfunction above and below decks intrude on the festivities. Down in the main galley, Mick Szabo, a battle-weary Hungarian executive sous-chef, watches escalating tensions among the crew. Meanwhile, Miriam Koslow, an elderly Israeli violinist with the Sabra Quartet, becomes increasingly aware of the age-related vulnerabilities of the ship herself and the cynical corners cut by the cruise ship company, Cabaret. When a time of crisis begins, Christine, Mick, and Miriam find themselves facing the unknown together in an unexpected and startling test of their characters.
Publisher: New York :, Doubleday,, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385536288
Characteristics: 285 pages ; 25 cm


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Nov 26, 2018

As a devoted cruise lover, I was very excited to see how this story would unfold. I found the first part of the book, where the characters are introduced and the groundwork laid, to be quite enjoyable. I thought her observations on her characters' interactions, as well as shipboard life, to be quite engaging. I suppose I was hoping for the story to continue on as a light and airy novel, and found the dark turn of events to be disappointing, and somewhat disturbing. The ending was very unsatisfying for me.

I did like this author's writing style, and so am planning to give one of her other works a try.

Oct 15, 2018

Silly book, silly ending.

Sep 18, 2018

I kept reading this book, hoping there would be a point to it someplace along the line. Very disappointed. Would not recommend it to anyone.

Sep 06, 2018

I read this book in two days! The author creates believable characters
that I cared about. Loved all the references to the 50’s on this retro cruise...especially the food. There is much to discuss if this book is read in a book group...this novel also brings up class issues - the “upstairs - downstairs” life on the ship. Wonderfully written. If you appreciate music - you will be delighted by the classical quartet.


Jul 14, 2018

NY recc


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