I finished reading Mitch Albom’s ” The Stranger In The Lifeboat” at 11:00 p.m. last night. I immeditately had to make a TikTok about it and called it a “beautiful read”. I went to bed, I slept on it, woke up this morning and made another Tiktok about it explaining what I didn’t like about it. This is the second book I’ve read of his. I read “Tuesday’s With Morrie”, YEARS ago. “Tuesdays With Morrie” was one of the many books that actually made me cry. Now I can’t say that , “The Stranger In The Lifeboat” had the same effect on me but it did have a couple of moments where I put the book down and stared at the ceiling. I enjoyed reading this book. I mean… I usually go to bed around 8:30-9:00 p.m on a good day and this had me up past my bedtime. haha.
Let’s talk about the book because though I loved it, there were some things I didn’t like. First off, I loved the fact that I picked up a large print edition from the library. Once I had my baby, I noticed that my eyes weren’t functioning like they used to so the large print was a perk.
I loved the fact that the story is told through different lenses. It is broken up into Land, Sea and News. We have the first person narrative with “Benjamin “Benji” writing letters in his notebook to Annabelle about what is going on on the lifeboat. We hear about the Lord, the stranger in the lifeboat, through Benji’s letters to Annabelle. ” I am the Lord” being repeated throughout. Then we have Jarty Lefleur, the inspector, who is guided on land to the remnants of the lifeboat that washed up on shore by Rosh. Then we have the News Reporter updating the world about the missing ship, the raft and more. There’s a lot going on in the book which in theory allows us to see the full picture of things, but for some reason I felt as if the book was rushed.
HEAR ME OUT.
There were many moments throughout the book where I felt that the presence of The Lord should have been highlighted more. There were moments in the book where I felt that right before I was getting into the Lord being the stranger on the lifeboat, it switched to the next person. It went back and forth a lot in the book to the point where I couldn’t really sit IN it. Just as I was getting into events happening on the Land, I was brought back to the Sea.
I understood the concept, but wanted a little bit more from it.
However, there were times where I felt as if I was watching a movie, yelling at the characters in the book . I found myself asking, “Well damnnn if that is the Lord, why is he putting them through this!” I mean, come on…. PEOPLE WERE DYING, starving, withering away! Surely God wouldn’t let this happen for weeks on end! I pondered on my own circumstances and how I, too questioned why God was letting things happen to me. In those ugly moments it didn’t feel as if God was with me, but, he was there. When I look back at all that I went through, I know that he was still there with me even when I didn’t believe he was.
..sometimes those stories, like the presence of the Lord, are hard to believe. Unless believing is what makes them true.”
― Mitch Albom
I was a little disappointed in the end to be honest. I totally loved that Rosh was actually our good friend, “Benji” because he survived it but chile, I was underwhelmed. Though the book was a beautiful read, I have so many unanswered questions. Perhaps, that is the beauty of this piece. We just have to believe in what is happening.