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, 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.
For Maggie Rayburn - wife, mother, and secretary at a munitions plant - life is pleasant, predictable, and, she assumes, secure. When she finds proof of a high-level cover-up on her boss' desk, she impulsively takes it, an act that turns her world and her worldview upside down. Propelled by a desire to do good - and by a newfound taste for excitement - Maggie starts to see injustice everywhere.
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.