Allen & Unwin (2013)
ISBN: 978 1 74331 307 7
Reviewed by Pearl Maya
McRobbie has written a tale of derring-do featuring 14 year old Adam Chisholm and his experiences in the English Merchant Navy during World War II.
McRobbie takes the voice of Adam telling the story to (maybe) his grandchildren so there are lots of little explanations throughout: “the soup was in a dixie, an oval pot with a swinging handle and tight-fitting lid”. This is further assisted by a glossary at the end of the book. This choice adds something of an old-fashioned tone to the book, more than classic voice. This is further emphasised by the cover artwork.
While the story is obviously fiction, McRobbie acknowledges that he has drawn on actual events from the war as well as his own Merchant Navy experience. This has provided a certain richness to the text.
I can see this book having a big following with the sort of readers who revel in Commandos or who had young family in the navy.