CRUSOES OF SUNDAY ISLAND by Elsie K. Morton

CRUSOES OF SUNDAY ISLAND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is the story of a roving New Zealander, Thomas Bell, on whom the hand of failure rested, who in 1878 decided to get away from it all and sailed for ""Sunday Island"" with the intention of growing sheep there, taking with him his fortunately competent wife and six children (there were ten before they left the island). This account of their trials and adventures was related to the author by the last surviving child, Mrs. Bessie Dyke, now over 90. Efforts of previous settlers to live on Sunday (now Raoul) Island, which lies 600 miles north of Aukland in the Kermadec group, ended in disaster and a series of graves; only by the outstanding pioneering abilities of Mrs. Bell did the Bells themselves survive, for the rascally captain of the ship that brought them there sold them spoiled supplies and failed to return as he promised. Survive they did, however, and eventually prospered, surmounting incredible difficulties; the children, though unable to read or write but quite able to care for themselves, having a wonderful time of it. Yankee whalers befriended them, hardships lessened and by 1882 the Bells were self-supporting; eventually the island was annexed by Great Britain and is now a radio and meterological station. Highly fictionized and with a distinctly adolescent flavor, the book should appeal to young adventurers, but adult readers will perhaps regret the emphasis on youth and the many imaginary conversations which fill its pages; it should, however, take its place in the literature of the South Seas.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1958
Publisher: Morton