The Last Cruise by Kate Christensen

The Last Cruise

From the acclaimed PEN-Faulkner Award-winning author of The Great Man comes a riveting high-seas adventure that combines Christensen’s signature wit, irony, and humanity to create a striking and unforgettable vision of our times.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 ...

Details The Last Cruise

TitleThe Last Cruise
Release DateJul 10th, 2018
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

Reviews The Last Cruise

  • Larry H
    Some people love cruises with absolute passion. They can think of no greater vacation than sailing the seas, enjoying all of the creature comforts of the ship (including endless parades of food), and exploring the different ports of call. I have many friends and family members who would take a cruise as often as possible if cost and time were not an issue.I've never been on a cruise, and to be honest, I've stayed away because of all of the horror...
  • Ron Charles
    There are a few simple prohibitions to remember when packing books for vacation:Don’t take “Deliverance” on a canoe trip.Don’t take “Into the Wild” camping.And please don’t take Kate Christensen’s new novel on your next Carnival Cruise. Trust me: Christensen is a discerning and witty writer, but “The Last Cruise” sails into such rough waters that it should come with a vial of Dramamine.The story unfolds en route from Californi...
  • Dorie
    This is historical fiction which revolves around the last sailing of the “Queen Isabella” a vintage ocean liner which will make her final voyage from Long Beach, California to Hawaii. The ship company has decided to make this a vintage cruise where passengers will be treated to circa 1950’s food, cocktails and music.We are introduced to several characters from passengers to musicians and chefs. Christine Thorne has left her farm home in Mai...
  • Bam
    I was drawn to this book because I do love cruising. On our last cruise to the Caribbean, we were offered an interesting tour of the inner workings of the ship--the galley, the laundry, the sanitation area, the engine control room and finally the bridge. Very eye-opening as to the enormous amount of work that is going on behind the scenes while passengers are enjoying themselves.This novel also gives the reader a bit of that insight into the inne...
  • ☮Karen
    3.5 stars rounded up.If you have no desire at all to ever embark on a cruise ship, this book will reaffirm that notion. If you have cruised and want to go again, you may change your mind after reading this book. I am firmly in the first category since I suffer from motion sickness. And now I also suffer from fear of being stranded in the middle of the ocean with no power, diminishing food supply, and a chance of rain. For these passengers on the ...
  • Amy
    This started well--and it's hard to beat Christensen's food writing--but boy howdy did it spiral out of control. And that ending...I don't need things tied up into neat little packages, but this ending was as if she abruptly got tired of writing and said, "There. It's done."
  • Susan Johnson
    3.5 stars As we enter the middle of summer what could be better than a book about a favorite vacation activity- cruising? I have been on a number of cruises and luckily none of the events that happened on the Queen Isabella's final voyage, a trip to Hawaii, has ever happened to me, thank goodness. In honor of her long life, the cruise will have a 1950's theme which appeals to a diverse group of people. The story is told mainly through the eyes of...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I read this novel about the last sailing of vintage ocean liner Queen Isabella while at sea, and had some interesting dreams! I did enjoy the story, particularly the crew members that are featured as events escalate. The points of view move between a member of an aging string quartet, a cook asked to come on board at the last minute, and a woman taking the last cruise with her friend, a journalist writing about the experience. Thanks to the publi...
  • Bandit
    If you never read a single news story about a cruise and still considering this as an option for a vacation…there’s this book, to get that silly notion right out of your brain. Funnily enough, until about midway through The Last Cruise really is a dream vacation. The last encore voyage of a luxury cruise ship Queen Isabella decked out in mid century glamour, free of modern world distractions, gourmet meals, first class entertainment, impeccab...
  • BookGypsy
    This was so much more than I thought it would be. Christine is a married Maine farmer who joins her friend a journalist doing a story about the workers of the cruise industry. Christine plans to enjoy this final cruise on the once stunning Queen Isabella. 1950's style luxury with fine dining and jazz. But it turns out to be anything but wonderful. A mind blowing deep look into the cruise industry and what actually goes on behind the scenes that y...
  • Mary
    Let’s just say that The Last Cruise ( the title tells all) did not float my boat. I enjoyed the first part of the book which reminded me of an Arthur Hailey type mash-up with a great cast of characters featuring the upstairs passengers and downstairs crew. Christensen also spent a lot of time delving into employment issues of the diverse foreign crew; their enslavement & mistreatment at the hands of the cruise industry. The Queen Isabella is a ...
  • Pamela
    3.5 stars. I have been on a couple of cruises and have been fortunate that all has gone well since both were taken during hurricane season. This book gives you the unfortunate insight into cruising when things do go wrong and the owners don't own up to it. Quite an eye-opener and delivered nicely by KC. Read it if you never want to cruise, don't if you do :)**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**
  • Kiki
    This was a surprisingly good novel. I felt very engaged with the characters, and while I kept waiting for some crazy twist to happen, it never really did. There are many characters in this adventurous novel, and not one felt more or less important or necessary than another. It's the last cruise for the elegant Queen Isabella and the crew and guests assembled are a fascinating and diverse group, from a quartet of elderly Israeli string players, to...
  • Debbie
    The things that happen in this book are so, so mundane. I kept waiting for something to happen. Eventually something did, but it was that the ship ran out of power. It was stranded in the middle of the ocean.The only reason I finished this book is because it was a lazy Sunday and I was being very lazy and didn't look for another book to read.This was five hours of my life I will never get back.Extra star given for author's time.Thanks to Doubleda...
  • Stephanie
    Thanks to Doubleday for sending me a review copy!The Queen Isabella ocean liner is taking her last voyage before being retired and sold for parts. It's going to be completely vintage: no internet or TV, classic menus from the 50s, dressing for dinner. Through the eyes of a passenger, a cook, and a violinist in the string quartet, we see the straining tensions on board and then, when crisis strikes, how they are tested.This took me a while to get ...
  • Moira
    Kate Christensen, already my literary crush for The Astral and The Great Man and Trouble and this incredible interview, has given me the book of my actual dreams in The Last Cruise. I am not kidding, it's like she took some of the signal events of my life and a few other of my favorite literary tropes and made a book out them. It is: 1) set on an aging ocean liner (that bears a marked resemblance to the QE2), and features 2) a pair of female best...
  • Vicki
    Something about this is so readable, even though I feel like maybe a few pieces are missing. Do all of the characters make 100% in and of themselves? Not exactly. Maybe the least well drawn is the character who starts the book. But everybody is interesting, and gettable. And it's a good story. It reaffirms my desire to stay off of any boat that goes too far away from land.
  • Kate Loveton
    Too much story about the main characters. Let’s face it: when you are reading a disaster novel, you wants to get right to the action. It was 53% of the way through before anything happened. Too many disasters, characters you could care less about... I only continued reading to see if anyone survived. Really, a 1.5 stars book.
  • Christina Kline
    From the first page of THE LAST CRUISE, it’s clear that you’re in the hands of a masterful storyteller. With wit and precision, Kate Christensen wrangles a large cast of characters on a cruise to Hawaii that undergoes a disastrous series of calamities, deftly turning what appears to be a comedy of manners into an intimate and moving story about how human beings relate to each other in times of stress and upheaval — with plenty of sensuous d...
  • Cathie
    The title is befitting the story. Queen Isabella, a 1950s cruise ship, will be making its last voyage out to sea before retiring. Warning #1 - this is a "vintage" ship...In keeping with the era of the its first voyage in the 1950s, there would be no internet service. Warning #2 -understandable on creating the ambiance...however, this is a "vintage" ship...The details in this novel were a bit much. With that in mind, I didn't feel the characters -...
  • Kathleen Gray
    Good storytelling and three strong characters made this a winner for me. Christine, Miriam and Mick are all in different stages of life and positions on the cruise ship Isabella. Christine is a farmer from Maine traveling with her friend Valerie, a journalist looking into working conditions across a variety of industries. Miriam plays violin in a long established string quartet on board to play for the owners; she's divorced from another member o...
  • Beth
    Thank you to Doubleday Books for the advance reader copy of "The Last Cruise." Wow! What an engrossing book!This book centers around the following characters: Christine, a married farmer from Maine, her friend Valerie, a high-strung NYC writer, Mick, a talented chef from Hungary, and Miriam, an elderly violinist from Israel. They are all guests or staff on board "Queen Isabella," a 1950's-era ocean liner making it's final voyage. Kate Christensen...
  • Lorri Steinbacher
    Read in prepub. Due out July 2018. Christensen creates interesting, fully formed characters that do interesting things and this book was no exception. In an author less skilled than Christensen the story could have traveled a typical thriller type path. All the elements are there: action takes place on a cruise ship making its final voyage, characters from different walks of life thrown together, a crisis, but Christensen uses these elements to t...
  • Leslie
    A well written thriller that I finished in a day! I loved the idea of the vintage cruise ship making its last voyage. I did like reading about the food and the ship. In all a solid summer read, but not if your going on a cruise.
  • Cherise Wolas
    I loved The Great Man by Kate Christensen. This one didn't grab me the same way. But the last few pages were terrific and I adore that the ending is left wide open.
  • Audra
    Much like the ship, this book ends up going nowhere.
  • Sonia Reppe
    The fated events of this cruise vacation are told through three view-points: a chef, a musician, and a passenger named Christine who is vacationing with her friend. I think I liked all three viewpoints equally. Each of their arcs was interesting, although Christine's life decision near the end seemed abrupt. The ending of the book itself seemed abrupt. I felt like the blunt ending could have been tempered and even made really powerful in the hand...
  • Marsha
    Interesting mix and development of characters. Loved the farmers wife deciding she didn’t like her life! Falling in love with the chef. Loved the string quartet, esp. Miriaam who professes her love for one of her fellow muscians. It was neat to learn more about music and how a quartet works together. The insights into the world of cooking and chefs was also interesting. Beautiful writing. Can’t believe the books ends with the ship being swall...