The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I wanted to read this book as I was quite intrigued as to how someone could write a novel about people sitting in a lifeboat for three weeks. Obviously, there was a lot more to it than that, and it was a really enjoyable read.
Set in 1914, a magnificent ocean liner suffers a mysterious explosion and sinks, but not before several of it's lifeboats have been launched. In one such boat is Grace, whose place was secured at the last minute by her husband Henry, whom she had to leave behind in the hope that he would make his way onto another one.
Also on the boat is a crew member from the liner, who immediately takes charge, his first instruction being to put some distance between themselves and the sinking ship, and more importantly the victims floundering in the ocean. When he refuses to even stop to help a young child, stating that the lifeboat is already over-capacity, we get our first glimpse of the lengths that people will go to for their own survival.
The story is narrated by Grace, in the form of her writing a journal of the events, so we know that she survived. However, it's revealed right at the start that she is on her way to court to stand trial for her life along with two other women, so it is then a matter of waiting for her journal to reveal just what exactly happened during those three weeks on the lifeboat.
This was a really enjoyable page-turner of a book, one of those that really makes you think "what would I do, in that situation?"
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