Judith's Reviews > The Lifeboat

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
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Sep 30, 12


An interesting story in a Titanic sort of way. Grace survives a shipwreck of an ocean-liner which went down mid-Atlantic a few years after the Titanic. She is in a lifeboat with about 40 other people, mostly women and a few men. The lifeboat says it was made for 40, but it turns out that they skimped on the building materials and it can't quite hold 40 people. If any are to survive, some have to go.

I love stories like this which present epic moral and ethical questions. And I always wonder: which role would I be playing in this story? The strong survivor who clings to life at all costs? The weak link who falls prey to quick decline and early death? The noble soul who volunteers to go overboard so that others can live? A leader or a loser? And then, of course, one wonders, is it better to survive when others have to sacrifice themselves for you to continue? Or to die with a clean conscience? I am always prone to consider the practical aspects too: if someone is clearly dying, is it wisdom or cruelty to throw them overboard so that other healthier people are given a greater chance to live.

This is a quick read and holds your attention, but it seems like we've been here before.
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