by David Grann
Reviewed by Linda:I love a true seafaring story, with the ship beset by the wind and the waves, the captain and crew fighting for survival. This history book, which has ridden high onto the bestseller list for months, details the truly remarkable adventures of the officers and crew of the HMS Wager, a square-rigged ship of 28 guns with a crew of 250, which set sail from Great Britain in the 1740s. The description of daily life for the men and boys on board, each of whom had a crucial role to play, is fascinating. Especially terrifying to me are the accounts of midshipmen climbing high into the rigging to trim the sails while the ship rose and fell on the waves. Those that survived the typhus outbreaks, the terrible storms at Cape Horn, and the shipwreck, then lived under near-starvation conditions for months on an island in southern Patagonia. Two groups of men, with great ingenuity, made it back to England where the naval inquiries began. You will be thankful for the solid ground beneath your feet!