Sarah's Reviews > The Lifeboat

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
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's review
Aug 14, 12

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This is a well written book that makes you think. At the start of the book we know that Grace is on trial for murder but are given no detail of why this is so. Her lawyers ask her to write a diary of exactly what happened and this makes up most of the rest of the book. We learn of an explosion on the liner "Empress Alexandra" and of what happens to the passengers and crew. Grace finds herself in an overloaded lifeboat for 3 weeks before they are rescued. The people in the boat face some moral dilemmas - if the weather worsens the overloaded boat will be likely to sink but how to lighten the boat? Would you be able to sacrifice yourself for the good of the others in the boat or would we all end up like those here who are soon plotting, spreading doubts and rumours? The boat has a crew member on board, Mr Hardie, who takes charge but then some on the boat begin to doubt his decisions and to wonder if he really has their best interests at heart, maybe someone else should take over the decision making? With everyone weak from hunger and thirst, beginning to despair of being rescued, they all find their strength of character tested. There are many questions about why the boat exploded and whether Grace is as innocent as she appears and at the end of the book these are not all answered leaving you wondering about the outcome of the trial. I'm sure we all hope we would behave better if we were in the same situation but this book leaves you thinking about what you would do if you felt it was necessary to survive.

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