The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan

75%

44 Critic Reviews

In fluid, straightforward, yet consistently evocative prose, Rogan convinces us of the terror of this voyage into darkness: physical, psychological, spiritual.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

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 Grace 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 has exceeded 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?

THE LIFEBOAT is a page-turning novel of hard choices and survival, narrated by a woman as unforgettable and complex as the events she describes.
 

About Charlotte Rogan

See more books from this Author
Charlotte Rogan studied architecture at Princeton University, graduating in 1975. She lives in Westport, Connecticut. This is her first novel.
 
Published April 3, 2012 by Reagan Arthur Books. 288 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 29 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for The Lifeboat
All: 44 | Positive: 33 | Negative: 11

Kirkus

Excellent
Mar 01 2012

The lifeboat becomes a compelling, if almost overly crafted, microcosm of a dangerous larger world in which only the strong survive.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Justine Jordan on Mar 30 2012

...this is, in many ways, a dark, brutal novel...But it is also vividly exciting, beautifully paced and surprisingly funny; in Grace, Rogan has found a voice that is both fresh and mysterious.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah Towers on May 04 2012

Rogan writes viscerally about the desperate condition of the castaway...But it’s her portrait of Grace, who is by turns astute, conniving, comic and affecting, that drives the book.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Holly Weiss on Apr 01 2012

As Rogan’s rich debut novel, The Lifeboat interlaces many layers of petty jealousies, shrouded motives, moral dilemmas, and psychological complexities

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Star Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Brigitte Frase on Apr 14 2012

Charlotte Rogan delivers a subtle and very persuasive analysis of the circumstances in which decent people can devolve into primal creatures.

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National Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Apr 20 2012

It is a gripping tale, a study of human emotions under extreme duress. Among other things, the author has constructed a microcosm of our contemporary world...

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Scott Martelle on Apr 28 2012

The most remarkable achievement within Charlotte Rogan's debut novel, "The Lifeboat," is how neatly it exceeds, and defies, expectations.

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Martin Levin on Apr 13 2012

In fluid, straightforward, yet consistently evocative prose, Rogan convinces us of the terror of this voyage into darkness: physical, psychological, spiritual.

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Martin Levin on Apr 13 2012

At once deceptively simple and technically accomplished, a straightforward thriller and a tale of moral complexity, The Lifeboat is a remarkable debut.

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Entertainment Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Stephen Lee on Apr 03 2012

But her biggest achievement in The Lifeboat is the disarmingly demure yet fiercely shrewd Grace, a narrator as fascinating and unreliable as they come.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Christina Ianzito on Apr 13 2012

Charlotte Rogan manages to distill this drama about what’s right and wrong when the answer means life or death into a gripping, confident first novel.

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The Telegraph

Below average
Reviewed by Anthony Cummins on Apr 05 2012

These aims cancel each other out: the novel asks you to care about a character whose life it would for the purpose of mystery conceal...Grace is often hard to believe, implausible as well as unreliable.

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USA Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Jocelyn McClurg on Apr 22 2012

Charlotte Rogan's beautifully constructed first novel is...a harrowing, suspenseful tale of survival...

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The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by James Kidd on Apr 22 2012

This portrait of natural, or possibly divine, selection makes The Lifeboat a giddily gripping read.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Below average
Reviewed by Alan Littell on Apr 22 2012

The author has never worked in ships; she occasionally displays a deaf ear to the subtleties of maritime practice. This said, Rogan navigates the shoals of a harrowing tale with mature assurance. "The Lifeboat" remains an engrossing and impressive achievement.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Alan Littell on Apr 20 2012

...Rogan navigates the shoals of a harrowing tale with mature assurance. "The Lifeboat" remains an engrossing and impressive achievement.

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Martin Levin on Sep 06 2012

At once deceptively simple and technically accomplished, a straightforward thriller and a tale of moral complexity, The Lifeboat is a remarkable debut.

Read Full Review of The Lifeboat | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

Boston.com

Below average
Reviewed by Richard Eder on Apr 15 2012

The veil remains; only hints come through; enough to leave the reader — intrigued, yes, and also frustrated — in doubt somewhere short of certainty.

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Seattle PI

Excellent
Reviewed by Holly Weiss on Apr 01 2012

As Rogan's rich debut novel, The Lifeboat interlaces many layers of petty jealousies, shrouded motives, moral dilemmas, and psychological complexities.

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Cleveland.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Karen Long on Apr 30 2012

The inventive structure she gives "The Lifeboat" is one of its best features. From a dry fragment of case law, she has launched a formidable, ethically harrowing tale.

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Book Geeks

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirsty Hewitt on Mar 29 2012

The premise of the novel – that such a story can be sustained and keep the attention of the reader whilst occurring only in on one small vessel – is incredibly interesting and is certainly done justice by the author.

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NY Daily News

Excellent
Reviewed by Sherryl Connelly on Apr 08 2012

It’s impossible to say, but that won’t stop a reader from returning to the pages again and again, searching for an answer that lies in Grace’s mind, which is ultimately as unfathomable as the ocean.

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By the Book @ Rogers Memorial Library

Excellent
May 04 2012

Readers who enjoy parables, tales of survival, and stories about maritime law will become completely immersed in this smart and character-centered book.

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Jenn's Bookshelves

Good
Reviewed by Jenn on Apr 10 2012

Rogan paints a setting so vivid and realistic, one can’t help but imagining themselves as a passenger on the lifeboat. Additionally, you’ll find yourself pondering what you would have done in their place.

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All the Books I Can Read

Good
May 21 2012

Charlotte Rogan does an amazing job though of slowly whittling away at the peace in the boat, raising suspicions and secrets until no one knows who they can trust...

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Rhapsody in Books

Good
Apr 13 2012

This is one seriously creepy story... Puzzling out who Grace really is and what actually happened will keep readers turning the pages of this clever book!

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Readings

Good
Reviewed by Kabita Dhara on Mar 28 2012

...a powerful debut novel... vivid and often harrowing... insightful and raw

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BookPage

Good
Reviewed by Trisha Ping

Charlotte Rogan's gripping debut won't let you turn out the light until the last page is turned, and will have you mulling over the questions of survival, sacrifice and responsibility it raises long after that.

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Under My Apple Tree

Below average
Reviewed by Leslie on Jun 12 2012

An excellent premise for a novel that never came to fruition. Did I miss the boat, pun intended, on this one?

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A Musing Reviews

Good
Apr 02 2012

The book is riveting and, at times, disturbing. Great book club book with many themes left for discussion.

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Iris on Books

Good
Reviewed by Iris on Apr 14 2012

As a reader, you constantly need to readjust your image of Grace...All of it makes that reading The Lifeboat is a fascinating experience, but also a little creepy at times.

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Clear Eyes, Full Shelves

Below average
Reviewed by Sarah on May 16 2012

Charlotte Rogan’s much-hyped debut, The Lifeboat, is one of my biggest reading disappointments of the year.

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Historical Novel Review

Good
Apr 04 2012

The Lifeboat had scenes that were so poignant, so tragic, it gripped me from start to finish.

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Back to Books

Below average
Reviewed by Nicola Mansfield on May 18 2012

I found the plot very predictable and kept waiting for a twist or shock to come into play...but it failed to come.

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Read, React, Review

Good
Reviewed by Jessica on Apr 17 2012

The Lifeboat is well worth reading either as an exciting, plot-driven tale of shipwreck and survival, or a slow meditation on moral psychology...

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Read, React, Review

Below average
Reviewed by Jessica on Apr 07 2012

The pace of The Lifeboat slows to a crawl in the last quarter of the book, once Grace is rescued.

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Book Monkey

Below average
Reviewed by Emma on Mar 22 2012

Sadly, now that I have read it, I am left feeling a little bewildered at the hype surrounding this book...ultimately, it fails to deliver an emotional impact...

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Beth Kephart's Books

Good
Reviewed by Beth Kephart on May 30 2012

I remain in the thrall of its intelligence. There's not a sloppy sentence in this book, nor an excess line.

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Dog Ear Discs

Good
Mar 15 2012

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.

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Our Book Reviews Online

Below average
Reviewed by Mary on Jun 14 2012

I found myself a little disappointed by the unfolding of the story and its conclusion...I found myself expecting a climax that never came.

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The Redheaded Reader

Below average
Reviewed by Farin on Jun 15 2012

... it’s been a long time since I’ve been so lukewarm about a book that everyone else seems to be raving about.

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Adventures in Motherhood

Below average
Reviewed by Alesha Leveritt on May 21 2012

Ms. Rogan's prose is quite lovely...Troublesomely, however, I just can't like this novel, mostly because I just don't like Grace.

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Rea's Reading and Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Rea on May 05 2012

The way that the differences between basic human nature from one person to the next were portrayed was simply masterful.

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The Aussie Zombie

Good
Apr 03 2012

The Lifeboat is an incredible debut for Ms. Rogan - it reads like a book written by a seasoned, experienced author.

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Reader Rating for The Lifeboat
61%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 878 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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