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Charlotte Rogan é 5 review

The Lifeboat

Ecollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met and considers the new life of privilege she thought she'd found Grace must now decide Will she pay any price to keep it? The Lifeboat is a masterful debut a story of hard choices ambition and entertainment narrated by a woman as complex and unforgettable as the events she describ Wanted to t

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In the summer of 1914 the elegant ocean liner carrying Grace Winter and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion Setting aside his own safety Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat which the survivors uickly realize is over capacity For any to live some must dieAdrift on the Atlantic the weather I had such

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Deteriorating and supplies dwindling the caraways scheme and battle caught up in a vicious power struggle between ruthless but experienced sailor and an enigmatic matron with surprising powers of persuasion Choosing a side will seal her fate but Grace has made her way in the world by seizing every possible advantage As she r Rating 3875

About the Author: Charlotte Rogan

Charlotte Rogan spent years as a closet writer before THE LIFEBOAT was published in The book was nominated for the Guardian first book award the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Goldsboro Books and Historical Writers Association debut historical fiction prize It was included on The Huffington Post's list of books from the last years that every woman should r.

10 thoughts on “The Lifeboat

  1. says:

    1914the atlantic ocean39 peopleone lifeboat where people stop being polite and start being realoh yeahi loved this book it has all the elements of a good survival story with all the furnishings of a well written mystery novel alliances will form motives will be shrouded lies and misdirection will win the day and exposure and deprivation will make even the well intentioned people a little loopy and unreliableit is a great idea for a novel and rogan writes it well the framing device is of a survivor married for ten weeks and a widow for over six standing trial along with two other women for murrrderrrrr but where is the line between murder and what needs to be done in order to come out the other side of extreme circumstances?and is anyone at all telling the truth?this story is very carefully told hints are dropped here and there peppering the narrative with doubt and revelations of manipulation feigned oblivion and ulterior motives but it is still a pretty harrowing survival story it just happens to also be a clever character study and a meditation on faith vs human agency gender politics and difficult choicesall in this tiny little packagethis is the ueen of all unreliable narrators and i found myself wanting to start the whole book over again from the beginning immediately after finishing iti don't want to give anything away but i highly suggest putting it on your to read shelf and snatching it up when it comes out on april 10i am excited to talk about this book with otherscome to my blog

  2. says:

    I had such high hopes for this book as it sounded like such a good plot for a story This book is about 39 people adrift in the ocean in a lifeboat after a mysterious explosion on their ocean liner think sinking of the Titanic Grace Winter newly wedded and now a widow is one of those on a tiny lifeboat not fit for 39 people How do 39 people survive together with different points of view little water and even less food?This was really difficult for me to get through but I plowed my way through it Why didn't I like it? I'm not sure I would have thought I would have loved a book such as this The writer wrote it as a first person narrative but Grace was very passive and the thoughts that poured through her head were not what I wanted to read or expected to read It seemed to just go on and on and on Not much action but lots on thoughts of Grace Would I recommend this to you? It depends on what you like If you like books that don't develop the characters very much but discuss ethics morals thoughts of the times go ahead and read it Me? I wouldn't read it as there are just too many good books out there and so little time

  3. says:

    I read the book very uickly and enjoyed it as I read it and then I got to the end and I thought huh Justhuh It left me with no other thought except a certain neutral feeling that I was glad that was over and I could read the next bookSo is it enough for a book to be entertaining while you read it and then forgettable? I guess that should be enough only this was ground that has been covered better before by Alfred Hitchcock But where Alfred Hitchcock's film is visceral and tense in this book because the narrator has every reason to hold things back from the reader there is a certain distance set up between her and the reader This narrative choice makes it hard to care about the story much beyond the time it takes to turn the pages to the end The climax in particular felt flat because of this distancing effect of the narrative voice In spite of these flaws I really admire the skill of this first time author and I hope she takes chances with her next book which I plan to try

  4. says:

    When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as important and that she feels she would not maim the universe by disposing of him he at first wishes to throw bricks at the temple and he hates deeply the fact that there are no bricks and no temples Stephen Crane The Open BoatBefore I even read the first page of The Lifeboat I knew that no matter how bad Charlotte Rogan’s book might be I was still going to like it at least a little The reason you can’t go wrong dramatically speaking when you set your story on a lifeboat adrift at sea Three elemental forces are instantly at work in such a novel ManWoman versus Nature ManWoman versus ManWoman And finally ManWoman versus HimselfHerself Without having to do any plotting or outlining the dramatic arc of your story has written itself All that’s left is to populate your bobbing little life raft and decide upon your ending The Lifeboat is not a great novel Frankly it might not even be a good one But I’m a cheap date when it comes to lost at sea tales Give me a sunken vessel a small craft crammed with diverse people and the slowly dawning realization that help isn’t coming and you’ll get at least three stars Alas there are only so many ways to reimagine this basic setup and the plot here is going to be familiar to anyone who’s watched Hitchcock’s similarly named film It is 1914 and the passenger liner Empress Alexandria is on her way to New York Suddenly she is rocked by an explosion and begins to sink The titular lifeboat is loaded and launched before the Empress Alexandria dives from sight Thirty nine people a mixture of men women and a child escape on the boat But that as they say is only the beginning Rogan’s twist – and it isn’t earthshaking – is to begin the novel after the titular lifeboat has already been rescued The first person narrator the young newly married Grace Winter introduces herself to us by standing in the rain naturally because this is fiction and coyly mentioning that she is set to “stand trial for my life” She also informs us that she has two co defendants – Hannah West and Ursula Grant – and that she is a widow This is a rather bold ploy I will admit By front loading this information the chief uestion of any life or death story – will the heroine survive? – has already been answered We know that people will make it out of the lifeboat the only uestion is how Rogan is essentially promising the reader that the answer will have emotional heft than simply discovering who live or dies Unfortunately this is not a promise that she can keep Rogan does a credible job with the physical aspects She is good at giving you a visceral sense of being stuck in a small lifeboat in a big sea Her story feels real when she sticks to hunger thirst windburn blisters cracked lips; you believe her when she describes the tumultuous seas the threatening clouds the endless lines of waves The suffering of the survivors are made palpable This alone makes The Lifeboat readable It is only 274 pages long and it is a downhill read Effortless and mildly diverting That is all it is though Rogan tries for but cannot deliver on her ambitions It starts with the characters who are shallow people bobbing atop a deep ocean The Lifeboat hinges on the conflict between the survivors but these people are poorly drawn and easily confused With one exception no one makes a lasting impression Some of the survivors aren’t even referred to by name Take “the deacon” for instance You will not be surprised to learn that he prays a lot That is the extent of his human dimension There are some Italian women on board They spend the voyage huddling together and gabbling in their foreign tongue Rogan’s depiction of the Italian women delivered through narrator Grace is spot on in its depiction of the perceived otherness that Italians were subjected to in the early 20th century I can only hope this is intentional There is also an inveterate whiner named Mary Ann She says some cryptic things that are never explained No matter I was too distracted by her name Another three hour tour gone horribly wrong Hannah and Mrs Grant Grace’s future co defendants are there of course Neither of them are given any motivation or back story They just kind of exist until the plot reuires them to do otherwise Neither of them have accrued enough weight to deliver the impact that Rogan expects of them The only character who generates any interest is the antagonist Mr Hardie Hardie is a sailor from the Empress Alexandria and takes charge of the boat At first he is seen as their salvation; later as things go bad he becomes the locus of complaint He stands out for a couple reasons First he is the hub of the central conflict over who is to decide the fate of the lifeboat Second he is the focus of so much speculation by Grace that you’re almost forced to be intrigued In the end he is sketched as thinly as the rest but his mysterious aspect adds to his allure I actually did a little thought experiment with regards to Rogan’s characters I created a hypothetical If I transplanted these people to a different context could they hold a story? What if for example Grace and Mary Ann and Mr Hardie and the deacon were put into a pizzeria Would we have the makings of a decent book? The answer is no Unless the pizzeria sank in the middle of the ocean and everyone had to climb aboard a huge pie crust to survive Grace herself is a rather unsympathetic guide She is the classic unreliable narrator her memory failing at convenient times She withholds information for no reason save to gin up false tension in the reader It’s too bad that literary red herrings are not edible because the survivors could have feasted Rogan sets up a number of small mysteries none of which are resolved These side plots are smoke and mirrors meant to distract from the thinness of the story To an extent I suppose it worked Once I got reading I never considered stopping Rogan intrigued me enough to keep going page after page long after I realized that The Lifeboat was decidedly averageThis book suffers a bit from not knowing what it wants to be Is it a tale of survival? A tale of mystery? A courtroom drama? A bit of all three thrown into a mixture that never coalesces There are missed opportunities also Rogan subtly sets up battle lines between the men and women on the boat Properly executed this might have been a fascinating deconstruction of gender roles While Rogan makes feints in this direction she is too distracted by other plot elements All might have been saved by slam bang ending That never comes The big event Grace alludes to on page six turns out to be the very thing you guessed on page seven To make matters worse Rogan’s decision to fracture her storyline by bookending the lifeboat experience with Grace’s trial backfires The lifeboat seuences have inherent power despite the poor characterizations and derivative plot The courtroom scenes do not Yet just as things reach a fever pitch on the boat Rogan jarringly switches course placing us in jail with Grace instead of the open water I read this as an aficionado of cast away stories I loved Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken and Neil Hanson’s The Custom of the Sea To that end I gleaned some enjoyment out of Rogan’s tale of hardship and endurance If you aren’t already predisposed to the subject matter though you might want to hop in a different lifeboat The one without Mary Ann

  5. says:

    Rating 3875 of five The Publisher Saith Grace Winter 22 is both a newlywed and a widow She is also on trial for her lifeIn the summer of 1914 the elegant ocean liner carrying her and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion Setting aside his own safety Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat which the survivors uickly realize is over capacity For any to live some must dieAs the castaways battle the elements and each other Grace recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met and the new life of privilege she thought she'd found Will she pay any price to keep it? The Lifeboat is a page turning novel of hard choices and survival narrated by a woman as unforgettable and complex as the events she describesMy Review This is Charlotte Rogan's first novel I do not expect it will excepting only her own lack of interest in pursuing a writing career be her last It has the voice and the control of a fourth or fifth novel one long chewed over and considered and drafted which then is utterly transformed by some magical alchemy of fresh insightRogan's forty person lifeboat is almost entirely filled when it hits the cold cold North Atlantic in 1914 Hardie a seaman of the doomed luxury liner the Empress Alexandra named for the eually doomed Russian Czarina who was herself to founder in a few short years has hustled himself and our narrator Grace Winter aboard at the last possible instant as the lifeboat was about to hit the sea The narrator we know from page one is creating the story we're reading for her lawyers those defending her from a murder charge leveled against her for in the course of a mutiny against the morally suspect Hardie killing him by pitching him overboardWhat is it about this story then with its not new outlines that merits the busy overbooked reader's attention? Grace She is an unreliable narrator she is even aware of her unreliable perceptions and yet she is in this tale weaving a myth as subtle as any out of the Greek sacred traditionGrace doesn't ponder or study on anything Grace floats above the sea whether the literal North Atlantic or the metaphorical subconscious in a dangerously unreliable craft loaded with people who don't seem real to her don't seem like actual flesh and blood don't exist in full four dimensional spacetime for herGrace is in shock Probably Grace is manipulative and selfish Probably Grace is a sociopath uite possibly But Grace above all things is a survivor view spoilerBy the end of the book she's not only been acuitted of the crime she actually committed but has found another husband although she ruminates detachedly that she doesn't seem to feel anything strong for him either like she didn't for her first husband hide spoiler

  6. says:

    To set the stage; it is 1914 and 39 people including our narrator Grace are adrift in the Atlantic in a life boat that was not designed to hold so many Their provisions are scant and the possibility of imminent rescue is at best uncertain; but for the reader this story actually begins some time later when Grace our narrator is about to stand trial for her life In preparation for this Grace must recall as much as possible about what happened on that lifeboat and when What follows is a captivating believable harrowing tale of survival Imagine 39 separate personalities thrown together in uncomfortably cramped uarters; uarters that brook little movement Now colour them hungry thirsty and terrified for their loved ones whose fates are unknown; colour them fighting both physically and psychologically for their very own lives Imagine yourself and perhaps others you may or may not know in that boat Stephen King says; When it comes to the past everyone writes fiction I could not look away This is gasp and breathe superb storytelling I was also about to say that this is three for three but on second thought it is actually four and I am sure there will be I’m talking of course about the number of excellent books that karen has led me to So it is then that with an outward sweep of my arms that I do bow down and say thank you

  7. says:

    Oh BoyThis author has a new book coming outI can't help but wonder if I'll be less cynical if I read it I was dying laughing rolling on the floor laughing sharing about all my thoughts about this book with my husbandlater my kids Something about it hit a giggle nerve I was re writing this novel as fast as I was reading it in my head mine was comic tragedy of course mostly heavy on the comedyI never understood why this little book was so popular for awhile Maybe for a great laugh?On Day 4 in The Lifeboat Grace our narrator saysMr Hoffman spoke without a trace of emotion I could NOT stop laughing after that sentence I found it hard to take this book serious as I ALSO did not 'feel' a trace of authentic emotion for this story I wanted toThese are 'my' personal thoughts We know at the start of the book that a woman is on trial for her life did she or did she 'not' kill a man she was on the lifeboat with? We know she SURVIVESbefore we start reading the back of the book tells usGrace goes from 21 days living on a raft boat to 'prison' note the book was interesting to me once she got to prisontowards the very end I'm STILL laughing as I type I am sooooooooooooooo sorry I DO NOT mean this in any righteous way Its just how I am 'reacting' I DO NOT blame the author or anything I just keep wanting to LAUGH a LOT reading this small novel I couldn't seem to filter my mind maybe I needed to do meditation but for starters I kept asking myselfIf I were only married less than a year and I was on a ship that was going down with MY NEW HUSBAND you can bet your ASS we would have ended up on the SAME lifeboat 'together' PERIOD NO ifs ands or butts about it marriedSAME lifeboat Another thing for a small book which was less than 300 pages long the author mentions sooooo many characters 'names' sure we had our 'main' characters but it seemed pointless to me to 'drop' lifeboat names as fast as she did never having time to develop their character I would have almost preferred the author sayThe guy with the long noseor Man with bushy eyebrows than keep dropping names that were not lasting in this story anywayAnd most My emotions were not 'invested' It felt like I was reading 'notes' things to remember to write in the book but the 'feelings' were flat for meAnd without the feelings I could have read a newspaper article to read details about a tragedy In all fairness I wasn't a huge fan of the boat movie that came out this year either with almost no words with Robert Redford It 'too' lacked AUTHENIC emotion for mewhereas I 'did' see the other boat movie Captain Philips and the type of acting Tom Hanks did in the last few minutes of THAT movie was gut wrenching believable to the point of self reflecting the ENTIRE depths of the storyso I'm not a fan of this book STRAIGHT ON YETI'm THRILLED I had soooooooooooooooooooo much FUN ROLLING on the floor laughing TRYING to talk to my husband about this bookAndI am deeply sorry if I am hurting anybody's feelings Again its NOT my intention

  8. says:

    This was a mediocre mess of a historical novel I had seen some rave reviews of this book and was intrigued by the story a young woman survives a shipwreck on the Atlantic Ocean in 1914 and there is a power struggle among those on the lifeboat Generally I am interested in survival stories and books about civilized society breaking down but this novel was a pain to get through For starters the writing was juvenile than I expected and I wondered if I had accidentally picked up a YA novel Additionally the main character Grace Winter was so annoying and ignorant that it made it difficult to care about herThe structure of the book was also frustrating in that it is told through flashback but the pacing was all wrong It opens with a murder trial and we understand that some of the characters are in prison for their actions on the lifeboat Grace S L O W L Y tells the story day by day of the events that unfolded on the boat This book is less than 300 pages but it dragged on so much that it felt like an epic novelI know some readers loved this book and I'm sorry I didn't care for it

  9. says:

    Wanted to throw myself overboard by chapter threerather than read any But I did It was hellThe idea is great rags to riches governess is in a Lusitania type sinking in an overfilled boatEverything's therebut it is as tedious as being stuck on that boatRogan writes well above average in many ways but in the all fashionable first person which all publishers now seem to like Even then we don't engage with the main character and if you can't nab us in the first personwellThis is such a wasted opportunity If the writer had gone into what happened on the boat before it sank or into the key characters on the lifeboat it could have really worked Instead we get endless tedium of the skies and infightingThis isn't a new idea and Hitchcock's film did it way betterRogan is let down by the publisher editor and agent who surely must have seen the flaws in this book? Surely?Due to the reviews and publicity I bought this bookbut it was clearly rushed out in Titanic year Sadly because Rogan could do better I won't buy another

  10. says:

    Set in 1914 at the beginning of the First World War after the sinking of the Empress Alexandra a group of 39 people are left adrift in a lifeboat built to hold far less in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for 21 days This tale is told retrospectively from the point of view of Grace Winter a 22 year old newlywed who manages to find a place on a lifeboat But the lifeboat she's found herself on is overloaded and in danger of sinking there isn't enough food and water for everyone on board soon some of the passengers are discussing volunteers to go overboard Some may need to die if the rest are to survive The Lifeboat is the debut novel of author Charlotte Rogan It is a compelling gripping and extremely thought provoking tale This novel tells the story of survival at its most basic level It explores human nature and morality It shows what happens to people while they are fighting to stay alive The novel is a psychological thriller really The book is very well written I really loved the author's writing style I was completely engrossed in this novel from the very first page The way in which Charlotte Rogan describes the moral decisions the characters have to make is uiet chilling With everyone weak from hunger in despair over their situation on the lifeboat fearing they won't be rescued and they'll die out there all the characters find their behaviour beliefs and morals being tested to the limit It's extremely terrifying You can't help but finding yourself wondering would I do the same in that situation? Grace was an unreliable narrator which I thought added to the story by making it all the shocking Even by the end of the novel I wasn't sure what to make of Grace Was she as innocent as she appeared to be? Or was she frighteningly manipulative? In parts of the novel Grace seems to be surprisingly honest in revealing her negative thoughts and feelings about the other passengers in the lifeboat along with her worries about her husband's survival You are left wondering if what Grace is telling you is the whole truth deliberate lies or the effects that shock starvation and exhaustion are having on her mind She's a very complicated character I'm sure we all hope we’d behave better if we were in a similar situation but this novel poses some interesting moral uestions if you're own survival was at stake how far would you go to ensure you were the last one left standing? I can't wait to read from this author Four stars

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