Primary Creator
Shute, Nevil
Era1900 - 1950
Pages242 pages
Name of WorkLandfall
Production Date1940
Production Location
United Kingdom

Current Location

General Notes

Aside from the central epistemological theme of how to determine truth, there is a lovely love story. Shute manages to weave it into the plot in a simple and seamless way. The interplay of the couple, as they realize, in their mental playfulness about their feelings for each other, and the rejection of the class system of Britain as a barrier for love, is a happy thing to watch through the story. Even though Mona has some concern about being at the wrong social station for her love of Jerry Chambers, she faces it factually, and knows she can overcome it if given the opportunity, but is perfectly willing to be "Mrs. Smith" rather than "Mrs. Chambers" in order to have her love come true. (The meaning of this either/or is only clear upon reading the book.) The story shows that heroism comes in both physical form (his) and mental form (hers), and both are crucial in life.


A British submarine during WWII is bombed and all hands are lost, and some evidence points to a British Air Force fighter pilot as the cause of this tragedy. Even though the submarine was out of expected position and thus the pilot was within his "rights" to fire, the Navy decided he acted recklessly. There was some anomalous evidence that doesn't quite fit. Nonetheless a Board of Inquiry concludes it was avoidable and became a black mark against the pilot. It caused him great pain to think it was possible that he did this, even though he was virtually certain it was not a British sub. The story has a second plot line around a growing love between this young pilot, Jerry, and an intelligent young woman, Mona, but their relation is completely disrupted by the war and the tragedy of the destroyed sub. Eventually, bit by bit, the whole truth comes out as well as the central place that Mona plays in forcing all the threads of the story to come to light.


Truth will triumph -- with perseverance.

Emotional Sum or Sense-of-life

Heroes and Heroines are self-made, by anyone at any level of intelligence who seriously pursues what is important in their lives.


truth, World War II