Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Review: The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
Grace Winter is newly married and newly widowed, her husband of a few short weeks, secured her a place in one of the lifeboats but now she is on trial for murder. After an explosion on the Luxury liner, the Empress Alexandra has no chance. Two years prior, the Titanic sunk and everyone is hoping that better regulations have been put into place to ensure they will be rescued shortly. The survivors in Lifeboat 14 quickly learn that their boat is over capacity, and they must fight for their survival. As much as they would like to help those in desperate need, they’re own survival is on the line. Seaman John Hardie takes charge of the lifeboat, and causes contention within the boat. Charlotte Rogan has readers questioning if murder is justified for survival.
The Lifeboat is set during 1914 just before the onset of war. Grace’s husband Henry broke off his engagement to his fiancé, and despite his parent’s wishes, he married Grace. She has yet to meet her in-laws, and now, sitting in a lifeboat she doesn’t know if Henry has survived. As the hours on the boat turn into days, the moral on the boat drastically changes. The boat is overcapacity and they have dwindling supplies that Hardie has taken control over. Survivors are initially relieved to have Hardie take command of the boat, eventually they’re attitudes changed when Hardie keeps a tight reign on the dwindling food and water. Desperate times cause for desperate measures, and now Grace is on trial.
I normally wouldn’t have picked this one up for myself, but Rogan is a 2012 debut author and I wanted to give her a chance. I ended up really enjoying the book. As readers are introduced to the present trail and past flashbacks, we begin to question Grace’s reliability. It’s clear that in this situation there are no easy answers. It becomes evident that some must be sacrificed for the majority to live.
The Lifeboat was a great debut novel for Charlotte Rogan. Once you begin the story, you won’t want to put it down. Readers dive in and are anxious to find out what really happened on the boat. I recommend this one for those looking for a great survival story that will leave you questioning the actions of those survivors. Who should decide who lives and dies? How long do you wait before making these decisions?