What would happen if we called on God for help and God actually appeared? In Mitch Albom’s profound new novel of hope and faith, a group of shipwrecked passengers pull a strange man from the sea. He claims to be “the Lord.” And he says he can only save them if they all believe in him.
Adrift in a raft after a deadly ship explosion, nine people struggle for survival at sea. Three days pass. Short on water, food and hope, they spot a man floating in the waves. They pull him in.
“Thank the Lord we found you,” a passenger says.
“I am the Lord,” the man whispers.
So begins Mitch Albom’s most beguiling and inspiring novel yet.
The Stranger in the Lifeboat is an enjoyable story with a good element of mystery. It’s very readable and doesn’t require too much brainpower to process. A yacht carrying a collection of incredibly rich and famous people sinks at sea. A small group find their way onto a raft, and events are narrated by Benji, one of the staff on the boat whose thoughts we read via a diary he wrote in during that time. One day, a man comes aboard the raft claiming to be the Lord.
There are three storylines running through this book – one is the diary entries from Benji, which are set during the time the group is stuck on the raft, one a year or so later as an Inspector investigates what happened, and also a storyline which shows the news coverage of the yacht from the media. Through this we piece together some of what has happened.
I have to admit, when I realised that this author has written various other books with strong themes of spirituality and religion, I was a little worried – it’s not the type of book I like to read usually. However, although this book does of course include these themes, the man claiming to be the Lord is not the center of the whole plot.
What I found far more interesting, and what kept me turning the pages, was trying to work out what had happened to make the yacht sink, who could have been responsible for this, and whether any of the people on the raft survived.
The book is enjoyable to read but ultimately, it wasn’t anything too amazing. For me, the mystery side of the story is what kept me intrigued and I am glad I’ve read it.
Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest review.