Janine's Reviews > The Lifeboat

The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
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's review
Nov 26, 2012

really liked it

I found the book compelling and the idea of 39 people on a lifeboat in 1914 waiting to be rescued an interesting premise. I often thought while reading what I would be like in a similar situation. Would I be a survivor? Would I be noble and give myself up to save others? Would I become like others wanting to survive and be willing to kill for it?
There were a couple of things brought up that were never answered which I would have liked to know about; what was in Hardie's box? What did Hardie and Mr Winter discuss before Grace was put on the lifeboat? I would have liked to know more about Hardie. I wasn't sure whether he was noble or not.
It raised a few good questions about life and death, responsibility to self and others, the breakdown of humanity and self when all is taken away and survival is the greatest need (it made me think of Lord of the Flies for some reason).
It definitely is a good first effort for the author. She was able to take a disastrous situation and treat it quite matter-of-factly through the voice of our young protagonist Grace. I didn't think much of Grace and in fact she reminded me a bit of the timid and weak title character of the book Rebecca. How would the book been written had it been the voice of Mrs Grant? It would have read much differently. The author also could have written it with more horrific description but kept it to our imagination to explore the various scenarios. It also made a difference in when the story took place. Would there be different outcomes had it happened twenty years later before WWII?
I felt more emotion at the beginning of the book along with Grace, when she first in the boat. By the end of their 21 day journey, she was nonfeeling and described the situation very much in the same way.
It was a quick read; I finished it in just a couple of sittings. I will most likely search out the second book of Charlotte Rogan's.
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