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The Lifeboat: A Novel by Charlotte Rogan
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The Lifeboat: A Novel (original 2012; edition 2013)

by Charlotte Rogan (Author)

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1,1981046,687 (3.43)86
Member:jayne_charles
Title:The Lifeboat: A Novel
Authors:Charlotte Rogan (Author)
Info:Reagan Arthur / Back Bay Books (2013), 278 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, 1910s, cruise ships, courtroom drama, women's rights

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The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan (2012)

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English (101)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All (103)
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
This takes place aboard an overloaded lifeboat afloat in the Atlantic at the start of WWI - you have the perfect setting for a bit of drama: absence of the sort of modern communications that we would take for granted nowadays, and a tense interplay between the characters as they realise their survival may depend on sacrificing one or more of their fellow passengers.

The prologue makes it clear that the narrator Grace does survive the ordeal, however she is on trial as a result of events on the lifeboat as yet unknown, and as such there is no loss of tension. The writing throughout is elegant and expressive, and it is notable that the lifeboat scenario is just one of three major life challenges that Grace has to find a way through during the course of the novel, and the novel is as much an examination of the state of women's rights in the early 20th century as it is about the drama aboard a lifeboat. ( )
  jayne_charles | May 16, 2018 |
This short book certainly held my attention throughout, and I liked the psychological examination of being trapped in a lifeboat after a shipwreck. Although I usually enjoy unreliable narrators and ambiguous endings, I thought there were a few too many unanswered questions at the end of this one for the story to be truly satisfying. ( )
  sturlington | Apr 23, 2018 |
Quite an interesting book. I read it as an audiobook, to which its personal first-person narration is very well suited. I'd call it Life of Pi meets Titanic and that more or less covers it. ( )
  annhepburn | Mar 4, 2018 |
Very well written, good blend of mystery and atmosphere. It was true when it said you had to read it in one sitting. ( )
  Charlotte1162 | Nov 29, 2017 |
Couldn't put it down. Read the last 90% of this book all in one sitting. Insightful, loved the language, and the people felt real and fully formed to me. Shades and shades of meaning. The ending left me a little lost which is, I suppose, fitting. ( )
  ElleyOtter | Nov 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
Rogan writes viscerally about the desperate condition of the castaway, of what it is like to be “surrounded on four sides by walls of black water” or to be so thirsty your tongue swells to the size of “a dried and hairless mouse.” But it’s her portrait of Grace, who is by turns astute, conniving, comic and affecting, that drives the book.
added by ozzer | editNew York Times, SARAH TOWERS (May 4, 2012)
 
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Epigraph
I shall sing of the flood to all people. Listen!

—The myth of Atrahasis, last lines
Dedication
For Kevin
And for Olivia, Stephanie, and Nick
With love
First words
Today I shocked the lawyers, and it surprised me, the effect I could have on them.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Grace Winter, twenty-two, is both a newlywed and a widow.
She is also on trial for her life.


In the summer of 1914, Grace elopes with Henry Winter in London, hoping to escape the disapproval of his wealthy family. When the elegant ocean liner carrying them home to America suffers a mysterious explosion, Henry sacrifices his own safety and secures Grace a seat in a lifeboat, which its occupants quickly realize is over capacity. For any to live, some must die.

Adrift on the Atlantic, the weather deteriorating and supplies dwindling, the castaways scheme and battle, caught up in a vicious power struggle between a ruthless but experienced sailor and an enigmatic matron with surprising powers of persuasion. Choosing a side will seal her fate, but Grace has made her way in the world by seizing every possible advantage. As she recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met and considers the new life of privilege she thought she'd found, Grace must now decide — will she pay any price to keep it?

The Lifeboat is a masterful debut, a story of hard choices, ambition, and endurance, narrated by a woman as complex and unforgettable as the events she describes.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316185906, Hardcover)

Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life.

In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying her and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize is over capacity. For any to live, some must die.

As the castaways battle the elements, and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met, and the new life of privilege she thought she'd found. Will she pay any price to keep it?

The Lifeboat is a page-turning novel of hard choices and survival, narrated by a woman as unforgettable and complex as the events she describes.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:51 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Forced into an overcrowded lifeboat after a mysterious explosion on their trans-Atlantic ocean liner, newly widowed Grace Winter battles the elements and her fellow survivors and remembers her husband, Henry, who set his own safety aside to ensure Grace's.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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