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The Lifeboat Paperback – 3 Jan 2013
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Almost unbearably exciting - you'll gulp it down in a single sitting (Kate Saunders The Times)
You will be gripped (Andrew Holgate Sunday Times)
Ingenious. . . An unflinching examination of the will to survive . . . Vividly exciting, beautifully paced and surprisingly funny; in Grace, Rogan has found a voice that is both fresh and mysterious (Justine Jordan Guardian)
Rogan's rip-roaring tale is a chilling reminder of the cost of survival (Elena Seymenliyska Daily Telegraph)
A magnificently layered book . . . As compelling as it is profound (Daisy Goodwin Sunday Times)
A daring and adventurous novel set just before the First World War. It begins in a courtroom, where an enigmatic young woman named Grace Winter is on trial; in flashback, we learn why . . .See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
firstly, there was little definitiong between the supporting characters. Apart from the main protagonist and two or three other occupants of the lifeboat, the others were entirely interchangeable. It was hard to remember who was who, and even some small detail about each one would have been helpful. It was difficult, for example, to feel sorry for Rebecca when we had never heard of her before she suddenly popped up and had a crisis, then was gone again. But perhaps this is what the author intended - to convey the sense that, after the event, all these people were an amorphous blur of humanity who had little impact on the protagonist.
The other irksome thing was that there were many plot threads dangled tantalisingly in front of the reader but never tied up. There were many hints that certain untowards things might have happened prior to the sinking of the ship, but none of them were followed through. Again, this might be because the protagonist knew or heard all these hazy details but never knew the truth of them herself. But for the reader, it was frustrating.
However, despite the above, I found this book strangely mesmerising. Considering it's about a bunch of people stuck in a lifeboat for three weeks, the author managed to keep me reading on at a considerable pace. It's one of those books that, while you're reading it, you want to read on and on.Read more ›
As it happens, not a great deal does happen in the lifeboat. The story starts with our Narrator, Grace, in court charged with her part in the murder of another member in the boat and the story is her journal of what happened. Considering the gruelling conditions experienced, lack of food and water, sleep deprivation and alternating drought and rainstorms being just a few, she is able to accurately recount these details on a day by day basis. I was expecting the book to be quite harrowing and a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, to be able to imagine how the people were feeling and coping with the tragedy of losing loved ones, coping with personal difficulties and generally enduring such conditions in a small open rowing open boat. In particular, one woman had a small boy, but the child's age was never mentioned, nor any reference as to how the mother coped with a young child for 21 days in such conditions. A great many occupants of the boat remained nameless throughout the story, and those that did feature had under-developed or boring personalities, so it was hard to care what became of them. The most heart-wrenching part for me was at the beginning of the book when the oarsmen pushed away a young boy in the water trying to get in the boat, because it was already over-crowded.
Very little is told about what happened prior to the explosion on the ship which made it sink, and much of it is speculation as to how and why it happened.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This book takes place in a lifeboat (obviously) launched after an ocean liner sinks in the Atlantic Ocean in 1914. Read morePublished 21 days ago by G. Noble
This is a great read, could hardly put it down. Resonates a bit with Milgram's 'obedience to authority' debates. Read morePublished 5 months ago by C.Campbell
An interesting thought provoking book; it definitely has you thinking what would you do in these circumstances. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kash
I am not sure that I would have read this book had it not been suggested by a member of my book club. Neither the title nor the scenario was appealing. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Sara Bosley
I've just written my first review for another book and it prompted me to look at the reviews of some of my favourite books. Read morePublished 7 months ago by AFHM
This book appealed to me as I’m interested in Titanic and Lusitania (both of which are mentioned in the novel) and other shipwrecks. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Char Louise
I found the book took me a very long time to read and I felt very uninspired by t g e way the story was told , the only reframing feature was the twist at the end and even that... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Fracesca Dignan
With as many depths as the sea, The Lifeboat is a multifaceted jewel of a debut novel. This is no flimsy story following the opportunistic marketing trend that seems to currently... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Elspeth G. Perkin