Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review: The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan

Title: The Lifeboat
Author: Charlotte Rogan
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Little Brown and Company (April 3, 2012)
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher
Genre: Historic Fiction
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
 Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life.

In 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 quickly realize is over capacity. For any to live, some must die.

As 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?

My Review:

With the 100 year anniversary of the disaster known as the Titanic quickly approaching, I thought it would be fitting to read a book somewhat based on a similar story.

A huge ocean liner, the Empress Alexandra, suffers a terrible explosion and many are lost at sea and some lucky enough to be in a lifeboat are still struggling to survive, especially since these lifeboats are over capacity and someone must give up their life so the others can survive.

This is the situation newlywed Grace Winter finds herself in in the summer of 1914, two years after the devastating disaster of the RMS Titanic.

What is worse? Weeks after having survived she is put on trial for murder.

Right away we are swept into the present day of 1914 with Grace on trial and her relating her memories of her time on the life boat and her struggles to survive with 38 other passengers, a lifeboat that is way too heavy and slowly sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

As her memories unfold we also learn about how she met her husband Henry, a husband that she doesn't even know where he is in the water or even if he even made it off the ocean liner. A husband that put her safety first over his own to secure her place on a lifeboat, assuming she would be safe from harm, not knowing what horrors would occur for her there.

I think this is a great portrayal of how being in a crisis, a life or death situation can change someone. It can bring the worst out in some, the strength in others and weakness in even more. Some become leaders and many followers.

I think Grace saw a side of herself and others she didn't know existed. She did things she never would have even considered before, all to just survive.

This story was odd at times, raw and a little gritty even but I liked it. I was constantly wondering what would happen next. Who would die, who would live.

It was a compelling tale and nicely done.


  1. I saw this book on Steph's blog awhile back and I thought it sounded like a good read. Gritty,emotional and I am sure itnis a page turner. I am hoping to get my hands on a copy soon. Great review, Ali.

  2. Thanks Heidi, I hope you like it!

  3. Thanks for the great review! I won this from a Goodreads giveaway recently and am very interested to read it.

  4. That is awesome that you won it Melissa! I hope you like it too. :)