Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

The Last Lifeboat: Virtual Author Event with Hazel Gaynor

Wednesday, June 14, 2023 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join us for a moderated conversation with Hazezl Gaynor to celebrate the release of her new book, The Last Lifeboat.

Gaynor’s The Last Lifeboat follows two women – a mother and a volunteer chaperone, one on land and one at sea – whose lives become forever intertwined when a ship meant to evacuate children from a war zone is attacked on the open ocean.

In 1940, England is under siege by the Nazis. With men gone off to war, women, children, and the elderly are plagued by daily bombings and constant fear for their lives. Lily Nichols, a single mother living in London, believes that anywhere must be safer than here for her two young children. She applies for a risky evacuation program that would send her son and daughter overseas to Canada, following a long journey at sea.

Alice King, a shy and quiet librarian, can’t stand sitting still amidst the wartime suffering that surrounds her. To play her part in the war effort, Alice volunteers to serve as a chaperone who will sail overseas, accompanying children to safety abroad.

When a Nazi U-boat torpedoes the ship with Lily’s children on board, a single lifeboat is left adrift in the storm-tossed Atlantic… and Alice becomes one mother’s only hope for her children’s survival. The story follows Alice’s harrowing eight days at sea, and Lily’s fight at home for her children to make it back to England alive.

Gaynor’s novel is inspired by true events. During WWII, the S. S. City of Benares set sail from England to evacuate 90 children to safety in Canada. When the ship was torpedoed by a Nazi submarine, hundreds died, including many children – and one lifeboat was left adrift at sea for eight days. One woman cared for six young boys aboard the lifeboat while they waited to be found. Gaynor was so moved by this story, and by the strength of this woman in the face of immediate peril and great despair, that she penned The Last Lifeboat, bringing this true historical moment to life through fiction.

Gaynor’s novel is perfect for fans of historical novels by Lisa Wingate, Kristin Hannah, Martha Hall Kelly, and Kristin Harmel. The Last Lifeboat serves as an uplifting reminder of the courage and altruism that we find in times of immense darkness.

About the Author

Hazel Gaynor is an award-winning, New York TimesUSA TodayIrish Times, and international bestselling author. Her most recent historical novel, set in China during WWII—published in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand as The Bird in the Bamboo Cage and in the USA and Canada as When We Were Young & Brave—was an Irish Times bestseller, a national bestseller in the USA, and was short-listed for the 2020 Irish Book Awards.

Please register; Zoom links will be sent out before the event.


Wednesday, June 14, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Categories:
, ,


AFPL Adult Programs
860-673-9712 ext 4
View Organizer Website