Book 5 – The Chequer Board by Nevil Shute

A lifelong fan of Nevil Shute’s novels, this is one I hadn’t come across before when I found it on a bookstall. It was published in 1947 and its theme is racism, specifically mixed marriage. It must have been a very progressive piece for its time* but one danger for the reader of 2013 is to react against some of the language used. But if you can cope with reading words that really are taboo these days and accept the context within which they are written, then it is a fine and humane book.

*As an aside, the only other novel I can think of that covers similar issues from the war and immediate post war period is The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott. That was published betewen 1966 and 1975, so addressed itself to a much later readership.

Plot 7/10

Characters 8/10

Readability 8/10

Laughs 3/10

Read again? Probably

Next week, I will be plugging a major gap in my reading life – Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen


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