Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Lifeboat

by Charlotte Rogan

I thoroughly enjoyed The Lifeboat, a first novel by Charlotte Rogan. Astute and “self-loyal” Grace Winter, age 22, a newlywed in the summer of 1914, narrates this novel.
Following an explosion on a luxury Atlantic Ocean liner, Grace survives three weeks on an overcrowded lifeboat without her husband Henry. Grace subsequently finds herself on trial for murder. Shipwreck, survival, power struggles and moral dilemmas provide dramatic metaphors for many problems faced by ordinary people. One reviewer dubbed this book “Lord of the Flies with Edwardian ladies”.
Rogan is interested in philosophy (Hobbs) and the idea that people create society out of a given state of nature, making up rules and giving up certain freedoms for security. This book is a page-turner and a fascinating psychological study of several complex characters, especially Grace Winters.
Submitted by HKw

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