I did not read this book quickly, but not from lack of interest and excitement on its part. (I was distracted by other readings, writings, and the smallest inhabitant of my house learning to walk, which furnished him with many escape plans that necessitated thwarting.) Honestly, Druett’s work here is eminently readable and intriguing, especially for anyone interested in maritime history and survival stories.
There were a lot of things to like about this book. Human ingenuity, democracy, and the triumph of the human spirit resounded from the tale of the Grafton‘s castaways, while the tale of the survivors of the Invercauld was in no small way reminiscent of Golding’s Lord of the Flies, replete with wretched selfishness and unsettling depravity. Druett’s writing really brought these issues out and made the experience more present for the reader.
I also enjoyed her author’s note in the conclusion (although I admit I skimmed it a bit), wherein she lays out her sources and justifies her choices in regard to discrepancies among those sources. She shows a dedication to research that one can only find in good historians, and it has made the book delightful.
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