Trustee from the Toolroom Totes Traditional Values

Nevil Shute is unrivaled in his ability to reveal the extraordinary qualities of very ordinary people. In Trustee from the Toolroom, Shute is in peak form.

Keith Stewart makes workable model machines in his basement workshop and writes about them in Miniature Mechanic for a devoted, worldwide audience.  Between their two jobs, he and his wife make ends meet.

When Keith’s sister and brother-in-law’s ship goes down in a hurricane near Tahiti, Keith finds himself trustee for his 10-year-old niece. The diamonds that were to have been Janice’s legacy were in the ship.

Although he’s never been outside England, Keith sets out to recover the diamonds. He carries a working, hand-made generator in his pocket and a news clip about the accident in his wallet.

Keith gets to Honolulu by plane. From there, he works his passage to Tahiti on a vessel built and piloted by an illiterate sailor whose lack of modern safety equipment horrifies naval officers.

On every leg of the journey, Keith meets miniature modelers who join forces to get him to the wreck site and home again safely.

Over the years, I’ve read this novel a couple times, each time with pleasure. Trustee from the Toolroom will warm your heart without upsetting your stomach with cloying sweetness.

Trustee from the Toolroom
by Nevil Shute [Norway]
William Morrow, 1960
311 pages
1960 bestseller #9
My grade B+
Copyright 2010 Linda Gorton Aragoni
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Linda Aragoni

I read. I write. I think. I make big ideas simple. I help teachers teach expository writing to teens and adults. In my free time, I read and review old novels.

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