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, Contemporary, Adult 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • ☮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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Annie
    Traveling is a strange experience. Travelers are between places. They’re in a pause. Their lives will begin again when they get to where they’re going. At least, it feels that way when you’re a traveler. For the people who work in airports, hotels, and on cruise ships, however, this is their day job. Nothing has paused for them. In The Last Cruise, by Kate Christensen, we get to see people who’ve put their lives on pause for a little whil...
  • Jeannine
    This was not quite what I expected at all. It tells the story of the last cruise of the old ocean liner the Queen Isabella on her way to Hawaii and the scrapyard. The book explores the lives and desires of characters both tourist and staff - Christine Thorne, taking a break from her husband and Maine farming with her best friend on this "retro-cruise," Mick Szabo, an overworked Hungarian sous-chef, and Miriam Koslow, an elderly Israeli violinist ...
  • 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...
  • Janeadams Adams
    The last cruise of the S.S. Isabella, a luxury trans=Pacific passenger vessel, sets sail for Hawaii. Aboard are the wealthy owners as well as the members of an accomplished and well known Israeli string quartet who've enjoyed their patronage and friendship for nearly two decades. This may be their last performance as well, - meanwhile, they're still rehearsing the difficult symphony composed by the owners for the occasion. Among the passengers, t...
  • Pam
    Oh, what a book! Is it romance, is it a mystery, is it a thriller or is it it all three? Yes YES and YESI really enjoyed this book and I encourage everyone who wants to be entertained to pick this bad boy up. My thanks to Netgalley and Doubleday for this advanced readers copy.
  • Nancy
    Going on a vacation cruise? Be sure to attend the lifeboat drill, because you never know. And wait until you return home to read Kate Christensen’s new novel “The Last Cruise,’’ because you don’t want to know.Certainly, the 400-plus passengers and crew aboard the luxury liner Queen Isabella for her final voyage before the salvage yard are looking forward to their retro Fifties cruise to Hawaii. Fine dining, classic cocktails, sophistica...
  • Marissa
    The diverse cast of characters of The Last Cruise find themselves on a retiring cruise liner, The Queen Isabella, for her final voyage -- a luxury trip dedicated to celebrating days past, the glamour, sexiness, and simplicity of the 50's. The characters however, take on-board their modern day baggage: the demand of a modern day job, the labor practices of a large faceless profit driven corporation, desire for greatness, a penchant for change. Wha...
  • Johanna DeBiase
    The title of this book is a double-entendre. On the one hand, the story centers around the scheduled final voyage of the 1950s vintage ocean liner Queen Isabella, cruising from Los Angeles to Hawaii and back, a desolate span of sea. For the special event, Queen Isabella is decked out in all her mid-century decadence to allow passengers the full experience of this bygone era. This includes fine dining, classic cocktails, string quartets, no childr...
  • Jennifer
    Great book. Really unique characters thrown together in a situation that goes south fast. And oh, what an ambiguous ending! (At least it's KIND OF ambiguous...I think there's enough foreshadowing to know where things are headed next...but maybe not). (I wish I knew other people who had just finished reading this book just so we could discuss the ending together)My issues with the book were really all editorial in nature. In my opinion, the first ...
  • Haley
    if you love cruising like I do, then you've inevitably had a conversation that goes like this: "I just came off the best cruise, I can't wait to go back." and your friend says "oh I could never go in a cruise, that's my nightmare. what if..."Kate Christensen took every one of those conversations ever to exist and put them in one book. the likely hood of all of these things happening all at the same time time is so incredibly rare. but, it makes f...
  • Sheryle
    I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Never having read anything by this author before, I had no idea what to expect. The story slowly drew me in and, before I knew it, I was totally invested in these people and the cruise. The idea of a final, retro-style cruise was very intriguing and was presented in a way that made me not only feel like I was there but made me want to be there. The characters felt like complete people to...
  • Kim McGee
    A chance for a Maine farmer's wife to enjoy a luxury cruise with a travel writer friend turns into the worst vacation possible or does it?Christine really needs to get away for a bit and what better way than the final voyage of a luxury cruise ship going from L.A. to Hawaii. Name all of your vacation fears and they happen on this trip - disgruntled employees about to be fired, bad weather, disease, fire. The mainstay of this story is the differen...
  • Lindsay (ReadWithLindsayV)
    Thank you to NetGalley and Double Day books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 4 strong stars! Maybe even 4.5!Follow three main characters: Christine, an American cruising along for fun with her friend, Mick, a chef on board, and Miriam, part of a string quartet on board - as they climb aboard The Isabelle for a cruise to Hawaii! Written with such a vivid vocabulary that you’re really able to picture everything that is go...
  • Lynn
    After a lagging first-third, this novel really stepped up into high gear, and a series of very endearing love stories formed or solidified on a cruise from Long Beach to Hawaii. A farm wife from Maine and her journalist friend from New York each find something quite unexpected on the cruise. A Chef who is tired of the rat race below decks reassesses his future. Two musicians who have been playing in a string quartet for over 40 years uncover some...