Cover image for Homeward bound
Homeward bound
Walter, Elizabeth.
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New York : St. Martin's Press, 1990.
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Publisher's Weekly Review

The SS Karachi , steaming from Bombay to England just after WW I, is the mise-en-scene for this formulaic, though entertaining, novel by the author of A Season of Goodwill. Captain Angus Meiklejohn, faithful to his wife and burdened by concern for his shell-shocked son in Scotland, seems an unlikely candidate for shipboard romance. Yet, before the 25-day trip ends, he has a liaison with an attractive young widow in first class. The ship's doctor, Edmund Bladon, his professional and personal prospects blighted by his conscientious-objector status during the war, also has a strange romance, thwarted by violence, with one of two convent-schooled sisters given to religious hyperventilation. Much goes on below decks as well, from sabotage to heroism, especially that of an Irish steward who expurgates his anti-English feelings. Characters from stowaways to diplomats come to turning points in their lives before the beleaguered ``ship of fools'' makes home port. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In 1924 a group of expatriates who have made their fortunes in India sail first class aboard the S.S. Karachi to England and an uncertain future. It's a troubled 25-day voyage. Everyone has something to hide: the strong but sensitive hero who has no luck with women, the captain who loves his ship above all, the chief engineer who sees only Right and Wrong, even the largely stereotypical and unconvincing female characters. Readers and passengers are kept busy with ample doses of lust, adultery, a rape which may or may not have occurred, and passionate digressions into Irish and Indian nationalism, pacificism, racism, and other topical issues. This ambitious novel by the author of A Season of Goodwill (Scribners, 1986) paints a large canvas in a manner reminiscent of the popular M.M. Kaye works. Generally engrossing and entertaining, it can be forgiven its hyper-melodramatic climax and compulsive urge to tie up loose ends.-- Libby K. White, Schenectady Cty. P.L., N . Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.