Ru's Reviews > The Lifeboat

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
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's review
Sep 09, 2012

really liked it
Read from September 09 to 10, 2012

Without sounding cliche', this is a harrowing tale of survival - not just once, but twice. To be adrift on a lifeboat without any prospect of rescue, Grace Winter is just one of dozens of castaways from a cruise liner that has sunken a mere 2 years after the Titanic sank: a lifeboat that cannot hold all of the castaways for a few reasons. Who lives? Who dies? Who *should* live or die? These are some of the obvious questions, but there is also the larger scope of a microcosm of a society being formed within the lifeboat, along with rules/laws, choices on things like food, water, weight upon the boat, and course of action. I myself felt the burden of each choice as I read this book, realizing that there are not always "right" answers.

Without spoiling anything at all, I will say that surviving on the lifeboat is but one aspect of this story, and that another has to do with events occurring elsewhere. It creates the basis for the other form of survival that I alluded to above. And, yet, many of the same questions are posed for the consequences of what occurs on the lifeboat itself.

This is a humorless tale, obviously, but that is not a criticism; there are a couple of moments that are unintentionally funny (e.g., signs from God - interpretations that they are signs of prevailing, or signs of succumbing to fate), but expect a heavy story from the onset.

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