CROSS CURRENTS by Joan Phipson
Kirkus Star


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A change of scene from scrub to sea and a change of pace from solid family story-cum adventure to searching, psychological study-cum-suspense reveals the range of Mrs. Phipson's talent, and should win for the well-received Australian author a new and older audience. Jim Griffith is the typical seventeen-year-old rebelling against his father's assumptions and authority: but he is also an attractive, likeable boy, able to assume authority and gain confidence. Accidentally confined aboard the family sloop with his young cousin Charlie, Jim resents and then comes grudgingly to respect the bumbling youngster who says of himself: ""I'm just not too bright. I suppose. Mum says I'm steady, though."" Charlie's steadiness is more than resignation; it betokens a fundamental soundness that helps Jim to level with himself as well as with Charlie. The everchanging sea is an ever-present influence on the boys: the author evokes the sounds and smells and sights of night, the brief promise of a new day, the satisfaction of sailing with a salt-laden breeze. Tension results from Mrs. Thipson's method of simultaneously weaving different strands of plot and from the nearly fatal emergencies that the boys face. The small, distinctive sketches by Janet Duchenne add a visible dimension to the fast-moving journey of two unlikely companions toward self-realization.

Pub Date: March 8th, 1967
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World