The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom | Book Review

“It takes so much to make you feel big in this world. It only takes an ocean to make you feel tiny.”

Adrift in a raft after a terrible shipwreck, ten strangers try to survive while they wait for rescue. After three days, short on water, food and hope, they spot a man floating in the waves. They pull him on board and the survivor claims he can save them. But should they put their trust in him? Will any of them see home again? And why did the ship really sink?

53. The Stranger in the Lifeboat

I haven’t read any books by Mitch Albom before but have seen them often on various book groups. So, requesting an ARC of his latest one was an easy choice.

When the man rescued from the ocean claims to be ‘the Lord’ himself, the survivors are not sure what to believe. As conditions worsen, a few of them are willing to bet on his claims. But he insists he can only help if all of them believe in him.

The story is told from three points of view – Sea, Land and the News. The survivors’ experiences on the lifeboat, with meagre supplies and sharks circling them, form the narrative on sea. Benji has found a notebook among the supplies and is chronicling their experiences in the form of a letter to his ex-wife.

On land, a lifeboat from the Galaxy has washed up ashore, a year later and nearly two thousand nautical miles from where it sank. Inspector LeFleur heads over to investigate. The luxury yacht was on its maiden cruise with industry leaders-the big idea people-coming together for The Grand Idea.

Meanwhile, the news is covering the investigation in real time while also profiling the owner and his celebrity guests.

Each of the survivors has a story, as does LeFleur, and though the arrival of a man claiming to be God seems absurd, I was surprisingly hooked quite easily. Albom draws you in with his characters and offers a chance to see things from each of their individual perspectives. The experiences they have lived guide their thoughts and actions under adverse conditions and you realise judging them is nothing more than convincing yourself of an alternate reality.

To some this book may appear to veer into the subject of religion, but I assure you it stays away, keeping firmly to the zone of faith. I particularly enjoyed the author’s writing style and expression. He lights up the sun, moon and stars with his words and I can’t seem to get enough of it.

“In the end, there is the sea and the land and the news that happens between them. And to spread that news, we tell each other stories. Sometimes the stories are about survival, and sometimes those stories, like the Lord above, are hard to believe. Unless believing is what makes them true.”

At the end, this book left me with so many unanswered questions and yet I didn’t mind it at all. A beautifully raw, poignant story of pure emotion told on the edge of hope, faith and survival, this will give you much to ponder on.

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom. Published on 2nd November 2021 by Sphere, an imprint of Little Brown Book Group UK. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Little Brown Book Group, UK.

Book 53 of 2021.

Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟.

Available on Amazon*.

About Photo: The survivors had to battle harsh weather conditions on the open sea in a small lifeboat.
This artwork uses a layered papercraft technique with hand-cut ocean waves in shades of blue ranging from light to dark for depth. The boat bobbing on these choppy waves is made in origami.
The waves are cut in 220gsm cardstock and the boat is folded using 80gsm paper.

53. The Stranger in the Lifeboat

About the Author: Mitch Albom is an internationally renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. He is the author of seven consecutive number one New York Times bestsellers and has sold over forty million copies of his books in forty-seven languages worldwide, including Tuesdays with Morrie, which is the bestselling memoir of all time. His books have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.
Albom also works as a columnist and broadcaster and has founded eight charities in Detroit and Haiti, where he operates an orphanage.
He lives with his wife, Janine, in Detroit, MI.
You can find him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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2 thoughts on “The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom | Book Review

  1. Pingback: 2021 and Changing Plans | #BrunchBookChallenge – Aquamarine Flavours

  2. Pingback: My Favourite Reads of 2021 – Aquamarine Flavours

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