The Lifeboat

The Lifeboat

Large Print - 2012
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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.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2012.
ISBN: 9781410450197
Characteristics: 367 pages ; 23 cm.


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SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 08, 2012

“Where there is love there is life.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 08, 2012

“People aren't either wicked or noble. They're like chef's salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 08, 2012

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 08, 2012

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 08, 2012

“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 08, 2012

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 08, 2012

“But better to be hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 08, 2012

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 08, 2012

“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.”

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 08, 2012

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”

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ArapahoeAnnaL Jun 17, 2018

The perfect combination of a psychologically suspenseful plot, believable flawed main character, and wider questions of how to behave in a world of limited resources where there is not enough for all. The first person narrative works beautifully as it brings us into the narrator's mind. She is an intelligent observer with telling blind spots.

May 21, 2016

This is a story of a survivor, in a lifeboat and in life generally. The appeal of the book is in the voice of the unreliable and memorable narrator.

Sep 13, 2015

Some interesting thought experiments and invitations to explore philosophical and ethical issues, but very anti-woman and anti-feminist. I found no sympathetic characters.

Sep 06, 2015

Silly me. I chose to read this on a cruise ship! Actually, it didn’t frighten me. It made me think about all the people on the ship and how would the group react who was assigned to my lifeboat during the safety drill. Bringing a group of people together brings out behaviors we wouldn’t expect, including an action that could be seen as murder. 1914 is the setting for this book, in which newly married Grace is one of the few who survived a ship disaster. I think the author has studied human behavior to create a cast of characters who either take leadership roles or followers or the totally despairing behavior of people who fault most actions, but do nothing to help with survival. It is a study in how roles change in a life or death situation. And how one reacts to return to civilization, finding themselves accused of murder. I admired the strength of Grace and the intricacies of relationships.

Jun 15, 2015

Did nothing for me. I finished it solely because I kept expecting it to interest me eventually because it had gotten such good reviews. It felt totally flat to me, like the narrator was speaking in a monotone the whole time.

KateHillier Aug 20, 2014

You don't realise how much you've probably been misled until the final third or so of the book. Grace Winters, 22 year old survivor of a ship sinking and three weeks on an overcrowded lifeboat, is in jail for murder. The book takes the form of her diary of recollections, which is is submitting to her lawyer, and a few choice flashbacks to her life before her trip with her brand new husband.

If you put a bunch of people in a cramped space in a life threatening situation, you start to see what people are made of. Or rather not see since Grace's version of events may be entirely fabricated. You'll never know and I'm not sure you want to.

Jul 14, 2014

Definitely found this novel compelling & couldn't put it down. It's written in a very simple and believable manner. Really enjoyed it.

runfastread Mar 18, 2014

Survival of the fittest....makes you wonder what you would do if you found yourself in a situation like this....what responsibilities do we have to each other? Would anyone be blameless when it's a matter of life and death? Lots to think about when you put this novel down!!

emerald2pac Feb 17, 2014

Takes you on an adventure into the human mind that you won't soon forget. Makes you question morals and beliefs and what you would truly do to survive.

AmandaVollmershausen Nov 02, 2013

I found that there were a lot of elements in this novel that were presented but not explored to their greatest potential because of other, less important plot elements. For example, the setting of the book during world war 1 was frankly irrelevant to the plot, since they were apart from society either way, and it had nothing to do with the trial. I also felt this way about the theme of gender equality brought up several times: mentioned, but not explored. In addition, the murder that take precedent at the conclusion was not emphasized as significantly weightier than the other deaths on the boat. Definitely an interesting and enjoyable read, but not a brilliant literary feat.

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Dec 30, 2012

"When I was a law student I used to enjoy reading those gruesome Victorian shipwreck cases in which survivors are tried for murder after eating the cabin boy. I thought there was a novel in them, and Charlotte Rogan has (more or less) fished it out. "The Lifeboat" deals with an Atlantic shipwreck in 1914, and the narrative is in the hands of the unscrupulous Grace, who survives, but finds herself forced to explain how she has done it. It is an accomplished and smart first novel, which plays with narrative and moral ambiguity to gripping effect."
Hilary Mantel, "Globe Books", The Globe & Mail, Saturday, December 29, 2012.

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 08, 2012

Several American and British civilians are stuck in a lifeboat in the North Atlantic after their ship and a U-boat sink each other in combat. Willi (Slezak), a German survivor, is pulled aboard and denies being an enemy officer. During an animated debate, Kovac (Hodiak) demands the German be thrown out and allowed to drown. However, cooler heads prevail, with Garrett (Cronyn) and columnist Connie Porter (Bankhead) asserting the German's prisoner of war status, and he is allowed to stay.
One passenger, an infant, dies almost immediately after boarding. His mother is a young English woman (Angel), who, after being treated by a nurse (Anderson), must be tied down to stop her from hurting herself. The woman sneaks off the boat while the other passengers sleep, drowning herself in the night.


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