karen's Reviews > The Lifeboat

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
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's review
Feb 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: live-through-this, from-publisher-or-author
Read from February 18 to 20, 2012

1914.
the atlantic ocean.
39 people.
one lifeboat.

where people stop being polite and start being real.



oh, yeah...

i loved this book.
it has all the elements of a good survival story with all the furnishings of a well-written mystery novel. alliances will form, motives will be shrouded, lies and misdirection will win the day, and exposure and deprivation will make even the well-intentioned people a little loopy and unreliable.

it is a great idea for a novel, and rogan writes it well. the framing device is of a survivor - married for ten weeks and a widow for over six - standing trial along with two other women for murrrderrrrr. but where is the line between murder and what needs to be done in order to come out the other side of extreme circumstances?

and is anyone at all telling the truth?

this story is very carefully told. hints are dropped here and there, peppering the narrative with doubt and revelations of manipulation, feigned oblivion, and ulterior motives, but it is still a pretty harrowing survival story. it just happens to also be a clever character study and a meditation on faith vs human agency, gender politics, and difficult choices.

all in this tiny little package!

this is the queen of all unreliable narrators, and i found myself wanting to start the whole book over again from the beginning immediately after finishing it.

i don't want to give anything away, but i highly suggest putting it on your "to-read" shelf and snatching it up when it comes out on april 10.

i am excited to talk about this book with others.
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Comments (showing 1-40 of 40) (40 new)

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Teresa Lukey Anxiously awaiting your review. I just ordered this one on audiobook, but it'll be another month 'til I get it.


karen you want the ARC?


message 3: by s.penkevich (new) - added it

s.penkevich I want to read this so we can talk about it ha. This sounds great.


message 4: by Moondust (new) - added it

Moondust karen wrote: "you want the ARC?"

Ooh ooh! I want the ARC?! :O


message 5: by Moondust (new) - added it

Moondust Uh- this was meant to go before the previous msg! Ooh 1914, stranded, lifeboat. Interesting choice of setting etc etc. It sounds like a brilliant read! :O


karen well, tommy gets the ARc. what happens to it afterward is anybody's guess.


message 7: by Claire (new) - added it

Claire wow this sounds awesome!


karen i want to read more by her. hurry up and write, please!


The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) Oscar Winning Alfred Hitchcock?

(The movie, not the book)


karen did that win the oscar? not bad, steinbeck....


message 11: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) I'm not sure about the Oscar, but is noteworthy Hitchcock. He had to be tricky with his cameo in this one (Hitchcock always appears in his films.) In this one, his photo was on the front page of a newspaper one of the castaways was reading in one of the scenes.

And the Hitchock statement goes with the photo. I don't know if this was the root story for the film.


karen yes! that was the best cameo i have seen because how else do you manage it in a movie like this? very cool.


message 13: by The Pirate Ghost (new)

The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) His Cameos are always entertaining. I'm glad Stan Lee (Marvel Comics) is keeping the tradition alive in the Super Hero Movies.

The Picture Cameo was great. And I think it was the birds, where he walks out, sees the birds turns around and walks back inside the building he just came out of. It's hard to describe humor, but if you saw that, you'd laugh. Hitchock had a great sense of humor.


karen and he knew the truth about birds before anyone else had the nerve to share it with the world. biiirrrrrddss!


Arah-Lynda Great Review....and my TBR grows and grows.


Elizabeth La Lettrice Oh oh this looks gooood!!


message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary This sounds very good - definitely going on my list. I love books that when near the end you want to go back to the beginning and read it all again before it ends.


message 18: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Davis Great photo, great review. I'm glad to be warned about the unreliability of the narrator.


message 19: by Elizabeth La Lettrice (last edited May 22, 2012 08:58AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Elizabeth La Lettrice Oh man. I just wrote my review of this book and used the same "Real World" quote. A couple of hours later, I am having an epiphany while rereading it and wondering why I was thinking of that "quote." And now I know why. :(

I'm saddened. I subconsciously stole it and now I can't take it back. I feel like such a dummy.


karen haahah!!! i don't mind!!


Elizabeth La Lettrice I made an edit! I knew I couldn't have written something remotely funny/witty/relevant? that early in the morning without some outside influence!


karen ppbblltt!


message 23: by Lori (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lori Anaple I loved loved loved this book! She was so nowhere near as passive as people thought.


karen indeed...


message 25: by Ali (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ali I like reading your review so much better than reading this book.


karen oh no - hhaahahhaaaaa


message 27: by Ali (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ali Well, that's a compliment to you!
I just felt the book was boring and lacked action and character development. But we all have different taste, and I'm glad others enjoyed it!


karen yeah, it is definitely not an action-packed book. i'm glad you liked the review, at least!


Elizabeth La Lettrice The following just landed on my desk:

The Raft

...a YA survival story?! Looks like it's right up your alley.

Plus, they have Skittles. 2 people on a boat with just a bag of Skittles. You know what that means, right?.... Food fight.


karen hahahaahaha yes!!! skittles are pretty good end-of-world food.


i have been waiting for that one to come out,actually - tell me if it is good...


Elizabeth La Lettrice As long as bosslady doesn't need it, you can have it when I'm done. It looks quick and short (and I only say that because I already assumed you are a speedreader but me, not so much...). :)


karen yayyy!! that would be great!! otherwise, i can just borrow it from work when it comes out...


Judith Great picture! What a nice addition to your review.


message 34: by Katbyrdie (new) - added it

Katbyrdie best introduction to a review. gods, I love you.


message 35: by Laura (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Carling Titanic. We all know how it ends. Bored me to death. Can't even finish it.


karen Katbyrdie wrote: "best introduction to a review. gods, I love you."


i never got this update! hooray!

but sorry laura didn't like it...


Arah-Lynda Hello karen, just stopped by once again to say thank you. This was a superb read.


karen yes!! i'm so glad you liked it!


Courtney Milford spoiler alert, but who was William?


message 40: by Jan (new) - added it

Jan Really like this Hitchcock classic movie and was looking to see if one reviewer would reference this movie.


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