The Lifeboat Paperback – 29 Mar 2012
|New from||Used from|
|Paperback, 29 Mar 2012||
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Charlotte Rogan uses a deceptively simply narrative of shipwreck and survival to explore our all-too-human capacity for self-deception."--J. M. Coetzee
THE LIFEBOAT is a daring and adventurous novel set just before the First World War. It begins in a courtroom, where an enigmatic young woman named Grace Sachs is on trial; in flashback, we learn why . . .See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
I don't know what I'd do in that situation, but this book certainly makes you think. The story is told through the eyes of a young bride, now widow, Grace, one of those on the lifeboat. We know she survived because, at the beginning, she is facing trial in her home country of America along with two other passengers, for murder. You have to read the book to find out how, and why, Grace came to be where she is.
This is an 'unputdownable' book. I raced to the end to find out what had happened but... I feel it is not as good as it should be. Plenty of hints are dropped about what might have caused the explosion that sank the ship in the first place, including dodgy dealings and the potential involvement of Grace's husband, but this storyline is never made clear, which is frustrating. And because none of the passengers in the lifeboat is particularly likeable, it is hard to empathise with them. It's almost a brilliant book. It has all the right ingredients, but the result is not nearly as good as it could have been.
When we meet Grace, a most resourceful and realistic heroine, she is in prison on trial for her life. Her lawyers suggest she try to recreate the events of those twenty one days after the ship went down, and her diary is what we read, as the story of what happened and why she is on trial unfolds. This is an excellent, atmospheric and well written novel, which draws you in and refuses to let you stop reading. Grace tells her story simply and well, feeling no doubt in her actions, although we readers are often unsure she should be so certain of her belief. In fact, Grace's status seems as unreliable and shifting as the sea the boat floats precariously on.
As Grace narrates her story, she says, "the bare bones of our natures were showing," and it is hard to disagree with her. Yet, it is also impossible to judge how people could, or would, react in such a desperate situation. Certainly, the situation in the Lifeboat leads to those on board exhibiting the best and worst that humanity has to offer - from disagreements, discord and jealousy to self sacrifice. If this novel does not win awards, I will be stunned. This is an excellent book and would be ideal for a reading group looking for an intelligent and thought provoking novel to discuss.
Set in 1914, most of the action, or should that read "inaction", takes place on a lifeboat stranded in the Atlantic Ocean following the sinking of the Empress Alexandra five days after her depature from Liverpool. Our narrator, newly wed Grace Winter, has written an account of her experiences during three long and exhausting weeks spent aboard the overladen vessel - an account which could once more mean the difference between life and death for her as she now stands trial for murder. Some of her fellow passengers didn't survive - some jumped and some may have been pushed but Grace's involvement is rather unclear and she isn't the most reliable of narrators. What is crystal clear though is that the reader will question what he or she would do in a similar situation, how far would we go to survive?
This is one of those novels you will want all your friends to read so you can discuss it afterwards and share your views. Underneath the deceptively simple prose lies a multilayered entity which sucks in the reader from the opening pages. Grace is an interesting character, flawed and human but does her devious streak extend to murder? Lifeboat No 14 is predominantly female with 30 women, 8 men and 1 child and half of the men end up perishing in the ocean. The whole power struggle between Hardie (the ship's crewman) and Mrs Grant mirrors women's struggle for emancipation and Grace tries her best to steer a middle course between the two.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was disappointed with this book. It's too long. The narrator has no redeeming qualities. Nearly all the characters are unpleasant ( especially the ghastly Mary Ann). Read morePublished 1 month ago by Vole
I was so excited to read this book, it had great reviews and sounded like just my kind of thing. Sadly I found the characters to be lacking in depth and struggled with the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lindsey1983
This book really grabbed me, the author describes the setting and experience so well. It leaves a couple of questions unanswered, but it doesn't detract from the story or enjoyment... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Hurljy
I was initially drawn to the beautiful cover design of this book, and didn’t pay a huge amount of attention to the story it told. Read morePublished 3 months ago by ThePaiges
I raced through this, and loved the dynamics between the characters in the lifeboat - their petty squabbles, the women coming to the fore - but then something happened (or rather... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Alan Chapman
Have not finished book but find it intriguing how people think and behave under great stress and no certainty ofPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer