'God, bring back my son' must surely have been a cry uttered by so many parents during World War II. When David Thomas, aged 15, and Arthur Turk, 16, signed up for the Merchant Navy on MS Empire, they did not realise that for them the war would be for life. Learning their way round their ship and the duties required of them absorbs them fully as they sail away from England to join a convoy. Disaster strikes in the form of a German U-boat, leaving David adrift and alone until taken as a prisoner on war. With David and Arthur we are carried along in this emotive narrative, sharing something of the long-term suffering experienced by so many young men in World War II and feeling its impact on their families, friends and the new wartime friends they made as their paths crossed. This is a book of great and tender humanity.