I was really looking forward to this book as I had read several reviews that gave it high praises. Sadly, I don't think it lived up to the high praises. It was okay. Grace, the main character, started off interesting but then she and the story fell flat. It felt like the story was leading up to a big reveal - the mysteries of why the boat sank, the cargo & the crew. But it just kind of ended - no deep or exciting revelations.
The narrator did do a good job, which is one reason I kept listening. Had she not been good, I would have lost interest about half way through.
This is a novel about Grace Winter, a 22-year-old in England whose middle-class family fell upon hard times. While her sister set out to be a governess, the only job left open then for unmarried women who had to make their own way, Grace determined that she would find a husband. She followed the ongoing engagement of a young banker and was successful in luring him away from his girl friend. They are married, and now are returning to New York to meet his family. His familiy does not know that he has married someone else. They embark on a luxury liner in 1914, just as WW I is beginning, and something goes wrong and the liner explodes. The situation is like the Titanic in that there aren’t enough lifeboats for all the passengers, and there isn’t time to deploy all the lifeboats that are on board before the ship sinks. So we follow Grace in her over-burdened lifeboat for two weeks. The people on board become more and more unhinged as it becomes clearer that there are too many on board with no food or water left. Factions form, and mutiny occurs. Grace survives, and is now on trial for her life. It’s quite a good book actually. It’s a debut novel.
First, I loved the premise and the idea. Always great to delve into the minds of people who have survived such a horrible experience. Wonderful idea to have Grace time-skipping over her trial for murder and her wet ankles. I couldn't wait to read this book.
The book inspired me to write my own novel with some surprises and more exciting conflict than I found in this book. The passengers were throwing people off the lifeboat! That indeed should have caused some visceral emotions among the survivors, but not it did not, not really. I felt that the characters' reactions were, "oh gosh, there goes another one, but it wasn't me so I'm good."
Also, I would have made someone on the lifeboat the culprit. Why did the mysterious ocean liner explosion happen? No back story about the ocean liner. Perhaps the reader was supposed to assume all the Titanic background applied. But better: maybe Grace was REALLY devious and evil, as well as being just a run-of-the-mill un-unhinged woman of her time. She should have been in cahoots with some unknown person to destroy lives for her own self-centered goals. Now there's a survival story!
The book could have been set in an upscale parlor instead of a lifeboat. There was so little conflict or character development. The only thing I learned about Marianne was that she was a big whiner. I would have added 100 pages to learn more about the passengers and how they ended up on a lifeboat in the middle of nowhere. There was no explanation about how they found themselves in this dire situation.
The so-called nefarious seaman who was aboard didn't seem that horrible. He was the only character who could have and should have, been the hero! It wasn't our girl, Grace. No hero in this book where one would have been welcome.
Good first effort. I am certainly not the writer that Ms. Rogan is.
I think so, it was well read
I think it was like itself and quite confronting
yes. It would have been quite difficult, quite a few characters
The Characters in the story were suitably different and that would have been a challenge. The descriptions were great and I had a mental picture of everyone on the boat.