The Stranger In The Lifeboat

Mitch Albom's latest novel

by Carol Low

It’s been years since I last read a Mitch Albom book because I tend to avoid books that may make me cry. 

But I was intrigued by this one, his latest. A group of people are on a raft in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, hoping to be rescued after the yacht they were in exploded, leaving many others dead and lost at sea. One of them on that raft claims to be the Lord.

This book seems to have quite a bit of mixed themes going on. The mystery of what happened to the yacht, questioning of one’s faith, and the topic of coping with death and grief.

It’s quite an easy read, one that had me reading it all in one night, until 3am! But it was also because I couldn’t sleep that night. The part that made me keep reading was the mystery of the explosion and also wanting to find out what would happen to the survivors. The other themes, especially the faith part, didn’t really come off right for me.

So whilst it may be a book that others take their time to read and ponder about life, I find that I read it more like a mystery novel. In that sense it was fun for me but I have to admit I pretty much brushed off the rest of the elements that didn’t resonate with me.

To be fair, the author isn’t quite a mystery writer, so there isn’t exactly complicated plots in it. And as the book progresses, he does lead you to guess the answers before the revelations are made.

Overall the book left me feeling that it was an OK, on-the-surface read. It didn’t leave a deep impression on me. Just felt that it was a bit spread out on the premise of the book because it was trying to cover quite a lot of heavy topics, none of which went deep. Or maybe it was the intention to just touch the surface of these topics and leave the rest to the readers to think about long after they’ve finished reading it. You might also question some of the not so logical events of the book and be left with no answers. So all in all, read it for a bit of fun passing time.

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