December 08, 2012
Book Review - The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
We begin with Grace, meeting with her solicitors..
"We'd better present her as sane….They laughed and poked their cigarettes in the air and talked about me as if I wasn't there as we walked back to the courthouse where, along with two other women… I was to stand trial for my life."
Part story of the trial and part flashback to the events that take place as passengers and crew from a sunken ship try to stay alive in a lifeboat adrift for many days, The Lifeboat brings us into the mind of Grace. We learn her back-story, just married to wealthy Henry who has surely not survived the sinking. Grace is a survivor but will this current trial be too much for her to overcome? Beautifully evocative writing details the lifeboat's occupants grappling with religion, morality and ethics as life and death choices need to be made on the open ocean. I didn't expect to be as gripped by the story as I was, nor as fascinated by the inevitable 'What would I do?' speculations the book engenders.