As recommended on BBC4's A Good Read - 'A very good writer...simple, elegant and readable...a fantastic story' Jonathan CoeWITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JOHN BOYNEJohn Howard is determined to brighten up his old age by taking a fishing trip to France.
However, during his stay the Nazis invade and he is forced to try to escape back to England with the two small children of some friends who are forced to stay behind in order to help the Allied war effort.
As the conflict grows closer the roads become impassable and Howard also comes across five more children who need his help.
He ends up leading this motley group of youngsters through the French countryside, constantly beset by danger yet heroically protecting his charges. Nevil Shute Norway was born on 17 January 1899 in Ealing, London.
After attending the Dragon School and Shrewsbury School, he studied Engineering Science at Balliol College, Oxford.
He worked as an aeronautical engineer and published his first novel, Marazan, in 1926.
In 1931 he married Frances Mary Heaton and they went on to have two daughters.
During the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve where he worked on developing secret weapons.
After the war he continued to write and settled in Australia where he lived until his death on 12 January 1960.
His most celebrated novels include Pied Piper (1942), No Highway (1948), A Town Like Alice (1950) and On the Beach (1957).