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The Last Lifeboat

Best Seller
The Last Lifeboat by Hazel Gaynor
Paperback $17.00
Jun 13, 2023 | ISBN 9780593440315

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  • Jun 13, 2023 | ISBN 9780593440315

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Praise

“Hazel Gaynor’s latest novel, inspired by a shocking wartime tragedy, captivated me from the very first page. Though propelled by a slew of twists and turns, at its core, The Last Lifeboat is a moving tale of love, hope, and fortitude in the darkest of times. A haunting, memorable read.”
Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of Sold on a Monday and The Ways We Hide

“Hazel Gaynor’s novels have a way of gripping a reader’s heartstrings, and her latest, The Last Lifeboat, is no exception. Inspired by the 1940 sinking of the SS City of Benares, The Last Lifeboat imagines what might have happened in a lifeboat lost at sea and the child evacuees onboard. Gaynor’s latest is a glimpse into the anguish amid the families impacted by mass evacuations during WWII, but more than this, it is a story of bravery and surrendering to hope—especially for two women facing the most unimaginable of circumstances. A poignant, stirring tale. I’ll be thinking about this one for a long time to come.”
Sarah Penner, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary

“A searing, emotional, based-on-a-true-story tale of impossible survival and incredible hope aboard a single lifeboat adrift in a greedy, perilous sea. … Gaynor’s story is powerful not just in its closely researched adherence to astonishing historical truth, but also in the way she so richly imagines the emotions of both those aboard the doomed ship and those on land who made the wrenching decision to part with their children. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you root for a mother who’s lost nearly everything, a courageous children’s guardian finding her inner strength, and a ragtag group of survivors alone in the storm-tossed Atlantic.”
—Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Names

“In The Last Lifeboat, beloved historical fiction author Hazel Gaynor illuminates a little known incident from the Second World War:  the sinking by German U-boat of a ship carrying children who were being evacuated from Britain.  The book tells the harrowing story from the alternating perspectives of Lily, a mother in England faced with the excruciating dilemma of whether to send her children away, and Alice, who escorts the evacuee children and finds herself charged with helping a small group of them survive in a lifeboat for eight days after the ship sinks.  With her trademark combination of meticulous research and gifted storytelling, Gaynor weaves a tale that is captivating, heartbreaking and unforgettable.
—Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Sapphire

“A thrilling and atmospheric novel told with Gaynor’s signature compelling storytelling. During WWII’s British child evacuation, two families’ destinies collide in an absorbing story about breathtaking survival, extraordinary perseverance, and the resilience of love. I felt every splash of the storm-ridden sea in the lifeboat, every unsinkable hope for a child’s return, and every shattering loss. With Gaynor’s wise insights into the human heart, prepare to lose yourself in this book.”
Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Book of Flora Lea
 
“Emotionally riveting and beautifully told. The Last Lifeboat is an unforgettable story of survival, resolve, and the shimmering stubbornness of hope. You can count on Hazel Gaynor’s gorgeous writing to carry you away and safely bring you back.
Susan Meissner, USA Today bestselling author of The Nature of Fragile Things
 
“A harrowing tale of one woman’s survival in the Mid-Atlantic and another’s refusal to accept the unacceptable news of her children. Hazel Gaynor brings us two courageous heroines in a gripping, historical pager turner, beautifully told with great heart and such vivid detail, you can practically taste the sea salt in the air. And the children—the children will stay with you forever as will this marvel of a novel.”
Renee Rosen, USA Today bestselling author of Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl

“Everything you could want in a historical novel, and so much more: suspenseful, emotional, spellbinding. I read with my heart in my throat as Hazel Gaynor expertly swept me away into a mother’s angst, a survivor’s desperation, a child’s innocence caught in the middle of a war. A triumphant, remarkable story from an author at the top of her game.”
—Jessica Strawser, author of A Million Reasons Why

“The Last Lifeboat is simply unputdownable. Not only does this riveting survival story explore the resiliency of the human spirit, but it’s about finding hope and connection during the toughest of times. After you finish this beautifully written and inspiring book, you’ll hug everyone you love more tightly.”
—Elise Hooper, author of Angels of the Pacific

“Immersive and moving, this is a heartfelt tale of endurance, spirit and a discovery of what means the most to us—of what a human spirit can do. The warmth and heartfulness of the characters draws you straight into the story, while the supporting cast helps to create a full back picture of the events, cleverly enlisted to provide the full historical perspective.”
—Jennifer Ryan, bestselling author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir

“Hazel Gaynor has taken real events during World War II and retold them in a way that is compelling and inspiring, adding fictional aspects and characters to create a tale that is simultaneously uplifting and sorrowful….It’s impossible to stop turning the pages.”
—Historical Novels Review

“Gaynor’s latest historical (after When We Were Young & Brave) is a well-written novel about taking chances and facing loss and fear during a time of uncertainty.…Gaynor’s immersive novel pairs well with Jessica Mann’s nonfiction book Out of Harm’s Way: The Wartime Evacuation of Children from Britain….”
—Library Journal

“Gaynor’s strength as a writer is in her vivid portrayal of the struggling adults and children aboard the forgotten lifeboat. Her cinematic descriptions evoke strong emotions in readers. … Novels inspired by wartime tragedies and heroics fill miles of bookshelves, but you won’t easily forget what happens on the last lifeboat.”
—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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