Based on the story of Valentine Orlikova who received a good share of publicity in this country when she stopped off and Americans saw in the flesh a woman mate of Russia's Merchant Marine. One wonders why the story is told as fiction. Galya had always loved the sea, she worked first in a shipyard, then went to the Naval Academy. At the end of her course, she married Peter, whom she had long loved. He went into the Army -- she served as a Partisan, working through the siege of Leningrad, leaving their baby with her grandmother. Peter is wounded -- he joins the Merchant Marines -- and she signs on as mate....Illustrative of the spirit of the Russian women, but not so good a novel as it is a biography.