On the Bookshelf...

Trustee From The Toolroom

Nevil Shute

A novel tells the story of a man who leads an ordinary, uneventful life, until overnight he becomes the trustee of his 10-year-old niece and involved in the search for some missing money.

Nevil Shute is an author of the old school. His books are told against the backdrop of the forties and fifties. He weaves stories with well-drawn characters. Cozy stories to curl up beside the fireside and read. Well, all except 'On The Beach', a book so dark and bereft of joy as you'll come across. Trustee From the Toolroom is a gentle story about one man's quest to rescue his niece's birthright. It doesn't race along but meanders gloriously through the Pacific.

Keith is a man content with his lot. Not rich he authors articles for a popular model magazine. He's extremely good at what he does, building up a worldwide following. He and his wife lead a frugal and happy life. Evvery week is the same, a routine that suits them. His sister has married into minor gentry and her husband and her aim to move to Canada. They decide to sail across through the Panama Canal and round the Pacific, leaving their ten year old daughter with Keith and his wife. Unfortunately, they are killed in a shipwreck. Known only to Keith and the pair, is they smuggled all their wealth out in a box cemented into the boats hull. Keith sets about trying to get it back for his niece.

Trustee From the Toolroom isn't full of action. It's a nice story told with beautiful detail by Nevil Shute. The characters are well rounded, very much of the time it's set. It's a bit fanciful at times when you see the efforts strangers go to help Keith. As with all Nevil Shute books, its rooted in technical detail, yet accessible to us mere mortals. You imagine yourself on the fishing boat sailing through the warm climes of the mid pacific, smell the flowers in Honolulu and will Keith to succeed in his quest.

Another classic from Shute.

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Review by
AJ Steel
March 24, 2023

Manners cost Nothing

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