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The Stranger in the Lifeboat

By Mitch Albom

An Evocative and Intriguing Story Of Asking For Help and Not Getting What You Want



Nine people have been adrift for three days in a lifeboat without food or water. The luxury yacht they had been on had exploded, and now they have lost all sense of hope. When they spot another man floating in the water, they pull him in. He says he is the Lord. But is he? What would we do if, after crying out for help, God appeared before us? What might the Lord look like, and how would he act?

Benji, one of the employees aboard the ship, narrates the story, recounting the events on the yacht and the lifeboat in a notebook. The notebook is later discovered when the empty life raft washes up on the island of Montserrat. The island’s chief inspector, Jarty LeFleur, a man battling his own demons, must solve the mystery of what really happened.

“If that is to be, if this is indeed my end, then I am writing to you in the pages of this notebook, Annabelle, in hopes you might somehow read them after I am gone. I need to tell you something, and I need to tell the world as well.”


A STRANGER IN THE LIFEBOAT is an evocative and intriguing story exploring that sometimes the answer to a call for help is ‘no.’ Sometimes the answer is not what you wanted. Maybe we are asking the wrong questions.

Mitch Albom’s writing is simple, skillful and captivating. His dialogue is even sprinkled with a touch of humor. I laughed when the passenger ask the Lord why he is there and he answered “Haven’t you been calling me?” I also loved the structure and the labelling of the chapters: Sea, Land, and News.

Albom is a creative storyteller who skillfully transports us to a leaky liferaft in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This book follows Albom’s memoir FINDING CHICA about a young girl for Port Au Prince who stole the author heart. Albom reported that her diagnosis with a brain tumor and his journey to help her, caused these same questions to arise. Some of Albom’s other thought-provoking books include TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE and THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN.

I listened to the audio book performed by the author. The narration performance was solid. Albom gives rhythm, emphasis and heart to the story. Hearing the story in the author’s voice as intended is a beautiful gift.

“The distance between death and life is not as great as you imagine.” “Really?" Janis turned his way. "Then why don't people come back to earth after they die?” The stranger smiled. "Why would they want to?”

“When someone passes, Benjamin, people always ask ‘why did God take them?’ A better question would be why did God give them to us? ‘What did we do to deserve their love, their joy, the sweet memories we share?’”

Publisher Harper Audio/ Harper Collins

Published November 2, 2021

Narrated Mitch Album

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