Mitch Albom's new book: "The Stranger in the Lifeboat"

When God joined the lifeboat | Book review

In Mitch Albom's new book, 'The Stranger in the Lifeboat,' a group of people is swept into the heart of the sea on a lifeboat after a deadly explosion on the yacht they were on. Deprived of food and water in the middle of the ocean, they encounter a man who presents himself as divine

(Photo: Shutterstock/pauljrobinson)

It all takes place on a lifeboat, carrying survivors of a mysterious explosion that occurred on a luxurious yacht during a voyage with some of the world's top minds, including some of the wealthiest people in the world, who gathered together for leisure and collaborations. On the lifeboat, there are several survivors, some from that exclusive group and others being the ship's ordinary crew and the destitute, with very little food, scarce water, and little hope.

Suddenly, they spot a person in the water, paddle towards him, and lift him onto the boat. The man is unfamiliar to them from the ship, but when they begin to question him, he presents himself as God. This situation and what unfolds afterward form the central theme of Mitch Albom's new book, 'The Stranger in the Lifeboat.'

As always in his books, Albom immerses us in an unusual situation and prompts us to think and examine things from a different perspective than usual. Here, too, Albom delves into the feelings of humans facing God, whom we often call upon, and suddenly, He appears in a direct and unexpected manner, posing profound questions of faith to all the passengers on the lifeboat, especially when surprising events unfold during their shared journey.

The approach towards the stranger and his claim presents the people with uncertainties about their beliefs and the actions they should take. The prolonged stay on the lifeboat, in harsh conditions of heat, hunger, and thirst, puts immense pressure on them, leading to tensions among the individuals and mistakes that everyone pays a price for.

In parallel to the story of the lifeboat, Albom weaves a parallel tale that takes place a year after the explosion. One day, the lifeboat is found abandoned on the shore without any survivors. Detective LaFleur, the police station commander, is summoned to the scene to start investigating what happened on the lifeboat. LaFleur begins to uncover specific details from the past that shed light on the people who were on the yacht and their intentions and plans.

In the investigation, various factors are involved, including representatives of Jason Lambert's company, the owners of the yacht that was on board at the time of the explosion. The investigation receives significant attention due to the importance of the people who were on the ship and the hope of finding any survivors, even a year after the events in question.

Albom also "plays" with us, the readers: Do we ourselves believe in the stranger? Is he really God as he claims to be? How did he suddenly appear in the middle of the ocean? The questions asked by the survivors of the lifeboat also arise among us, the readers, and we are also required to contemplate the situation to which Albom introduced us. A recommended book, intriguing and thought-provoking!

(Courtesy: Matar Publishing)

"The Stranger in the Lifeboat," by Mitch Albom, published in the US by Harper, by Sphere in the UK and by Matar in Israel.

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