The Lifeboat- Charlotte Rogan

The Lifeboat, book, books, book review, Charlotte Rogan

This book was read as part of the wishlist challenge

Synopsis (from amazon)

I was to stand trial for my life. I was twenty-two years old. I had been married for ten weeks and a widow for six.

It is 1914 and Europe is on the brink of war. When a magnificent ocean liner suffers a mysterious explosion en route to New York City, Henry Winter manages to secure a place in a lifeboat for his new wife Grace. But the survivors quickly realize the boat is over capacity and could sink at any moment. For any to live, some must die.

Over the course of three perilous weeks, the passengers on the lifeboat plot, scheme, gossip and console one another while sitting inches apart. Their deepest beliefs are tested to the limit as they begin to discover what they will do in order to survive.


There was a lot of talk going on around The Lifeboat. It was one of the Waterstone’s 11 last year, and there were a hell of a lot of reviews around. It was on my wishlist for a long time, but once I actually got it it took me three months to actually get around to reading it. Partly because of my requested reviews backlog. I had actually been excited about reading it.

I had expected to like the part of the story focused in the lifeboat itself to be the most interesting (it was split between a tale of what happened on the lifeboat, and Grace’s impending trial), but actually I found that rather slow moving, and you didn’t get the moral debate I had expected. In fact the idea of people being sent from the lifeboat, or jumping was barely discussed at all. It was more a story of what extreme situations can bring out in people.

There was also a vague mystery aspect which was interesting, except we never really got any answers. It was almost as if Rogan had started another storyline but forgotten or been unable to finish it.

The sea scenes were rather well done, and you could imagine very easily what it might be like to be on a little lifeboat in the middle of the ocean.


Buy it:

Paperback (£5.03)

Kindle (£3.99)

Hardback (£7.81)

Other reviews:

Sam Still Reading

Every Book has a Soul

Leeswammes’ Blog

Farm Lane Books

As the Crowe Flies (and Reads)



Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Historical, Mystery

10 responses to “The Lifeboat- Charlotte Rogan

  1. This is on my shelf waiting to be read but I haven’t got around to it yet (story of my life!). I was so excited to get my hands on a copy, too! It sounds really gripping.


  2. The premise sounds really interesting. Must pick it up sometime.


  3. The actual boat part was less interesting than I had envisioned, but still good.


  4. I read this last year and found it enjoyable but a bit patchy. Great premise but I thought it was better taken as a psychological thriller than as historical fiction.


  5. Thank you for the link. Wish you’d been there at my book club to discuss, I think we could have had a really good discussion about the book!


  6. Sometimes I think I should join a book club, but my Mum says barely anyone finishes the books in her groups (she’s in 2) and they spend little time talking about the books. It’s good to have a general chat too but if you join a book group surely the main reason is to share books?


  7. Yeah, I wouldn’t really recommend it if someone was looking for historical fiction, but maybe if they were looking for general fiction.


  8. Pingback: Wishlist Wednesday | The Day Dreaming, Candy Eating, Red Haired Bookworm

  9. Pingback: Review of the Year 2012- Challenges | Lucybird's Book Blog

  10. Pingback: Wishlist Wednesday | The Day Dreamer and Candy EaterThe Day Dreamer and Candy Eater

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