The Breaking Wave


In the last few months, I’ve listened to two audiobooks by Nevil Shute: The Far Country and The Breaking Wave. I enjoyed both very much. Nevil Shute’s books really speak to me with their decent characters, kind and caring relationships, the sweeping landscapes of Australia, and interesting connections between vast distances in the world that make it all seem smaller and much closer together. His stories are interesting and compelling. The Breaking Wave was a sort of mystery because it started with the suicide of a young English woman in Australia, a former WREN during World War II, and we didn’t find out until the very end exactly WHY she did such a thing, and how she ended up in Australia.

The Breaking Wave, first published as Requiem for a Wren, was a sad story but told in such a way that I wasn’t overcome with sadness. It was a thorough exploration of how war changes lives and continues to play havoc with people’s lives long after it is over.

Even into this quiet place, the war had reached like a tentacle of an octopus. It had touched this girl and brought about her death. Like some infernal monster still venomous in death, the war can go on killing people for a long time after it’s all over.

It was a story of love and loss, and of a generation shaped by World War II.

For our generation, the war years were the best times of our lives, not because they were war years but because we were young. The best years of our lives happened to be war years. Everyone looks back at the time when they were in their early 20s with nostalgia, but when we look back, we only see the war.

Nevil Shute was a wonderful storyteller, and I especially love listening to his stories as audiobooks. I know that for 10 or so hours, I will be completely immersed in a vast and wonderful world filled with characters who have integrity and courage, warmth and caring.

6 thoughts on “The Breaking Wave

  1. Marlo Quick

    I have not read these and my library does not have the audio versions available so I will just have to read the books. I will add them to my constantly growing list of want to/must read books. So many wonderful choices! I read A Town Like Alice years ago and have reread it a couple times and just love being completely enveloped in the world he created.


  2. Robin Post author

    Nan, I loved your review of The Far Country! Thanks for sending the link.

    Marlo, I get the audiobooks through Audible. I haven’t run into them anywhere else. My library has many of his books, too, so they’re there for me if I run out of audiobook choices.

    JoAnn, I think A Town Like Alice would be a wonderful way to start reading Shute!


  3. Lady Fancifull

    Lovely review – PS, I’m sorry you don’t have a ‘like’ button on your posts, as if someone ‘likes’ a post, and is has graphics associated with it (eg as this one does in the book cover you post) then you appear in the person who ‘liked’ your post’s ‘Posts I like’ widget (if they choose to use that widget) and then you are likely to get more people visiting your stie and reading your interesting reviews…………..



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