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The Lifeboat: A Novel Paperback – Jan 8 2013

3.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur / Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (Jan. 8 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316185914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316185912
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #135,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

When two local yokels rob the First Wisconsin Bank of Winosha, part-time teller and town librarian Turner Hastings seizes the opportunity to pull her own heist, dumping the contents of the bank president's safety deposit box into her purse before going on the run. No-nonsense FBI Special Agent John MacKinnon is on the case, though this pursuit proves to be more frolic-and-giggle than cloak-and-dagger. Turner isn't really a thief, she's just determined to prove that Calvin Hyman, the politically ambitious bank president, has been embezzling from the bank for years—and not, as Hyman has testified, her late uncle Rusty. Turner's days on the lam assume a Thelma and Louise quality—in which Louise is a rescued Great Dane—as she roams Wisconsin's back roads in a borrowed Chevy pickup, playing cat and mouse games with MacKinnon. Keeping touch by phone, the cop and crook become increasingly intrigued by each other; soon, however, the plucky librarian is in the sights of another, more dangerous opponent, and MacKinnon finds his professional demeanor slipping as his role shifts from man hunter to bodyguard. Lively humor, an enterprising heroine, creative plot twists and a nail-biting finale make Harper's debut a worthwhile romp. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Impressive, harrowing first novel...[Grace] narrates the book with panache - and a good dose of unreliability...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 drive the book...As Rogan proves with this indelible character, there's a profound truth and even beauty in Grace's degree of self-loyalty."―Sarah Towers, New York Times Book Review

"In her assured debut, Rogan has written a layered and provocative tale of survival and impossible decisions. But her biggest achievement is the disarmingly demure yet fiercely shrewd Grace, a narrator as fascinating and unreliable as they come."―Stephan Lee, Entertainment Weekly

"Rogan has written an eerie, powerful debut you'll want to race through, but try to resist the urge. A slower read reveals a psychological depth that'll leave you thinking."―Helen Rogan, People

"[Grace Winter is] a gratifyingly complex character who narrates this dazzling psychological drama."―Wall Street Journal

"A superb first book...a cunning narrator...A psychological horror story...Rogan paints a vivid picture first of grimly necessary heartlessness...The Lifeboat is a tremendously fast-paced read...in a tantalizing turn, Rogan leaves it up to the reader to decide who deserves to walk the proverbial plank, stirring a diabolically fun internal debate. Rogan is a novelist on her maiden voyage, but she steers The Lifeboat with a remarkably assured hand."―Mary Pols, Time

"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...Other novels have examined the conscience and guilt of a survivor among the dead, but few tales are as thoughtful and compelling as this."―Christina Ianzito, Washington Post

"Beautifully constructed first novel...Rogan crafts a harrowing, suspenseful tale of survival...Grace is a bold and compelling creation, a female protagonist whose humanity is revealed not through her vulnerability but by a cool pragmatism that could have made her repugnant in the hands of a less skilled, sympathetic writer...The Lifeboat raises these forever fascinating questions without moral posturing or sentimentality."―Jocelyn McClurg, USA Today

"A detailed and chokingly graphic novel...Rogan's vivid, aching detail is delivered through Grace's voice. But something else comes through as well, and this, rather than the story itself, is the novel's undermining and deeply unsettling core...The story [Grace] feeds us is mesmerizing, unquestionably believable for the most part, yet poisoned even in its most casual details. But we don't know just where the poison lodges...Rogan has done something more complex. The veil remains; only hints come through; enough to leave the reader - intrigued, yes, and also frustrated - in doubt somewhere short of certainty. And indeed the writer has performed a fictional equivalent to a phenomenon in sub-atomic physics: that observing a phenomenon can make it slip away and alter."―Richard Eder, Boston Globe

"The Lifeboat is both an enthralling story of survival at sea and a novel that is satisfyingly concerned with the characters of its own storytelling...[The Lifeboat] bristles throughout with moral and historical dilemmas that arise from events in the text, and will provide argumentative fodder for book clubs...One hell of a debut."―Jonathan Raban, New York Review of Books

"Riveting...the narrative stays focused mostly on [Grace's] experience in the boat, the tension deliciously building as the passengers grow hungrier, thirstier, and more desperate."―Karen Holt, O, the Oprah Magazine

"Charlotte Rogan uses a deceptively simply narrative of shipwreck and survival to explore our all-too-human capacity for self-deception."―J. M. Coetzee

"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

"The Lifeboat is a spellbinding and beautifully written novel, one that will keep readers turning pages late into the night. This is storytelling at its best, and I was completely absorbed from beginning to end."―Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried, In the Lake of the Woods, July, July

"The Lifeboat is a richly rewarding novel, psychologically acute and morally complex. It can and should be read on many levels, but it is first and foremost a harrowing tale of survival. And what an irresistible tale it is; terrifying, intense, and, like the ocean in which the shipwrecked characters are cast adrift, profound."―Valerie Martin, author of Property and The Confessions of Edward Day

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Reason for Reading: I enjoy survival-at-sea stories and this immediately brought to my mind both the Titanic and the Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name.

I enjoyed this book. It is short and a quick read and yet I found it didn't live up to my expectations or perhaps its full potential. I found the plot very predictable and kept waiting for a twist or shock to come into play but every time anything of consequence happened it was already something I expected to happen. I kept reading though because I couldn't believe that was all there was to the story and that some startling reveal was going to made at any point, but it failed to come. The story followed its expected outcome and ended quietly on that note.

As stated I did enjoy the story; it is an interesting study in personalities when they are confined together in peril and how they will react. Grace herself, I found to be an unlikeable character from the beginning. She is rather cold and calculating in her motives even before the shipwreck. She is an unreliable narrator and yet her true character easily shows through which is one point which makes the book so predictable. I haven't read any other reviews of this book yet but I have a feeling that this is a book some people will absolutely love, while others not so.
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By Louise Jolly TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 6 2012
Format: Hardcover
Story Description:

Little, Brown And Company|April 3, 2012|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-0-316-18590-5

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, in 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?

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.

My Review:

The Lifeboat is a page-turning account of 21 days adrift in the Atlantic Ocean narrated by 22-year-old Grace Winter. The lifeboat is overloaded and some people are going to have to die, jumping overboard to their deaths to drown in the sea. Asking for volunteers there is utter silence so straws are drawn and those 3 who choose the shortest must go overboard. Who could feel right about playing God in this way?

The personalities of the men and women in the lifeboat are as different as night and day. There are those who are trouble makers, those who are afraid of their own shadow, those that feel `they' must be in charge, and those that vacillate between the combination of learning to go with the flow so as not to be centered out by anyone.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author has an uncanny knowledge about how humans react both physically and emotionally in such tragic circumstances.....thought provoking novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not a lot of plot in this book. There could have been a lot more character development. Some unanswered questions.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Found the story became tedious.
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