'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 22 April 2013

Review: To Brave the Seas

Adam has always dreamt of going to sea. He loves the sea, lives by the sea, and is obsessed with ships. His mother dies on the day war is announced in Britain when Adam is barely sixteen years old.  His father, always described as feckless by his mother, leaves to find work and gives up the house they’ve lived in for so long.

Now alone, Adam joins the Merchant Navy as a Deck Boy. He has to learn the language of the sea, get use to the motion of the ship and the steep hills formed by the waves, and come to terms with the numbing cold amongst many other adjustments to his daily living.

Through Adam’s life and routine, life at sea is exposed with all its dangers as well as its adventures. But it is wartime. U-boats seek out merchant carriers to destroy so goods and people will not arrive at their destinations.  Friends and enemies are made, and Adam uncovers his father’s deceptions and discovers that he’s not the man he thought he was.

This wonderfully interesting and superbly written book draws the reader back into the WW2 era, and a time of honour, conscience and courage. To Brave the Seas: A Boy at War describes life at sea in intricate detail, enabling the reader to be part of the adventure and action through McRobbie’s narrative.

 The prose style is immediate, strong and powerful. The information is drawn from ‘eyewitness accounts of real incidents that took place during the Battle of the Atlantic from 1939 onwards’, and McRobbie’s own experiences long after the war had ended. There is a Glossary of Terms providing a deeper understanding of the language used at sea. To Brave the Seas comes highly recommended by the reviewer.

Title: To Brave the Seas: A Boy at War
Author: David McRobbie
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $15.99 RRP
Publication Date:
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781743313077
For Ages: 12+
Type: Historical Fiction