Book Review: The Last Lifeboat by Hazel Gaynor


Title: The Last Lifeboat

By: Hazel Gaynor

Genre: Historical

Pages: 384

Release Date: June 13th, 2023

Publisher: Berkley

Rating: ★★★★☆


Summary from Goodreads:

Inspired by a remarkable true story, a young teacher evacuates children to safety across perilous waters, in a moving and triumphant new novel from New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor.
1940, Kent : Alice King is not brave or daring—she’s happiest finding adventure through the safe pages of books. But times of war demand courage, and as the threat of German invasion looms, a plane crash near her home awakens a strength in Alice she’d long forgotten. Determined to do her part, she finds a role perfectly suited to her experience as a schoolteacher—to help evacuate Britain’s children overseas.
1940, London : Lily Nichols once dreamed of using her mathematical talents for more than tabulating the cost of groceries, but life, and love, charted her a different course. With two lively children and a loving husband, Lily’s humble home is her world, until war tears everything asunder. With her husband gone and bombs raining down, Lily is faced with an impossible keep her son and daughter close, knowing she may not be able to protect them, or enroll them in a risky evacuation scheme, where safety awaits so very far away.
When a Nazi U-boat torpedoes the S. S. Carlisle carrying a ship of children to Canada, a single lifeboat is left adrift in the storm-tossed Atlantic. Alice and Lily, strangers to each other—one on land, the other at sea—will quickly become one another’s very best hope as their lives are fatefully entwined.


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An incredible and sorrowful story of survival.

I'm drawn into this heartbreaking story that is set in true events. Although my eyes are weeping my mind is full of heroism and strength within that loss.

Alice Kings is sweet and kind, but little does she know what strength she must pull from within. A lone woman in a lifeboat full of strange men and a handful of children. How she managed to keep her wits about her is beyond me.

Favorite Quote:
"She has been given a second chance, a second life. She must keep moving forward now, one step at a time, a small glass marble held tight in her hand, ready for the off."

I rated this book 4 stars out of 5 as it was marvelous and moving. Hazel Gaynor is a wonderful writer with a great eye for detail and facts.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

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