The Lifeboat

  • by Charlotte Rogan
  • Narrated by Rebecca Gibel
  • 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"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."
In the summer of 1914, the Empress Alexandra, a magnificent ocean liner, suffers a mysterious explosion on its voyage from London to New York City. On board are Henry Winter, a rich banker, and his young new wife, Grace. Somehow, Henry manages to secure a place in a lifeboat for Grace. But the survivors quickly realize it is over capacity and could sink at any moment. For any to live, some must die.
As the castaways battle the elements, and one another, Grace watches and waits. She is a woman who has learned the value of patience - her journey to a life of glittering privilege has been far from straightforward. Now, she knows, it is in jeopardy, and her very survival is at stake.
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 about goodness, humanity, and God are tested to the limit as they begin to discover what they will do in order to survive. The Lifeboat is a page-turning story of moral dilemmas, and also the moving and haunting story of Grace, a woman as unforgettable and complicated as the story she recounts.


What the Critics Say

"Charlotte Rogan uses a deceptively simple narrative of shipwreck and survival to explore our all-too-human capacity for self-deception." (J. M. Coetzee, twice winner of the Man Booker Prize, Nobel Laureate)
" The Lifeboat traps the reader in a story that is exciting at the literal level and brutally moving at the existential: I read it in one go." (Emma Donoghue, author of Room)
"What a splendid book. . . . I can't imagine any reader who looks at the opening pages wanting to put the book down. . . . It's so refreshing to read a book that is ambitious and yet not tricksy, where the author seems to be in command of her material and really on top of her game. It's beautifully controlled and totally believable." (Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall)
“Charlotte Rogan’s writing is exquisite and full to bursting with suspense and tension. I still can’t believe this is Rogan’s debut, she has written a novel that many long established writers will be a little envious of.” ( The Bookseller)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Simply loved this book

I loved this book from the very beginning to the end and rated it five stars.
I hope to read more of her. But apart from the book I also loved the audioversion. It was told in a highly vivid way and with a matter of fact voice.
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- Frederiek

Only slightly less boring than .......

actually being shipwrecked for three weeks!! I found the story hindered by the narrators dreadful Oirish accent for Hardy, and quite frankly wished them all dead by chapter 15 to lessen the agony!
Granted it's a hard subject but felt the way the story jumped back and forward towards the end of the book did not help, it was almost like the author knew you would be bored and so skipped to the end and then retold the story of the rescue.
Just did not like it and really struggled to finish it.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 29-03-2012
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK