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Keith Stewart, a toolroom fitter who had given up his factory job to devote himself to his hobby of miniature machines and to writing about them in a magazine that made friends for him around the world, recalls somewhat the colorless little Mr. Honey of No Highway. And when it came to the challenge that pulled him up by the roots and sent him off to a coral reef in the far Pacific, Keith proved as intrepid and determined as Mr. Honey did in his adventure. Keith had been appointed sole trustee for his brother-in-law's presumably large estate and only child. But when his sister and her husband were wrecked off Tahiti, only Keith had a clue as to what had happened to that estate- converted as it had been into 27 thousand pounds in diamonds. Keith's means were less than meagre; his ill-paid magazine job was at stake; his wife- and the child they now knew was virtually their own-had nothing to fall back on if Keith, too, perished. But despite naive ignorance of the world outside the shabby London suburb where they lived, Keith and his wife knew that he must go and try to reclaim the child's inheritance. And Keith's sheer childlike audacity achieves what a more expert world traveler could never have done. He reaches his goal after a succession of incredible adventures made wholly credible; he wins- and finds- friends everywhere; and he returns having lived up to his trusteeship in the best possible way. A fast paced plot, a lovable character, and a kind of warmth and charm pervade the story. Better written than many of Shute's books- with a kind of sure maturity that is new to him. His recent death- and the choice of this last book by the Book-of-the-Month insure a more than customary receptivity.
Pub Date: March 30th, 1960
ISBN: 0892440163
Page count: 311pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1960


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