ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Finest Hours - A Book Review

Updated on January 8, 2020
ProjectResolute profile image

I love to read books and enjoy reviewing them. I am addicted to my kindle, and when it is out of battery power I have withdrawal symptoms.

The Book Cover

My rating for The Finest Hours

4 stars for The Finest Hours Book

An Unexpected Blizzard

In the year 1952, the New England states were slammed by an unexpected blizzard. Maine and much of northern New England was buried under two feet of wet, heavy snow, marooning numerous motorist on roads buried under 10 to 12 foot drifts. Further south on Cape Cod there were more than 4000 telephone knocked out because the ice and snow that clung to the lines was simply too much weight. According to the book, a snowshoe race was canceled because there was too much snow! It was the worst storm the east coast saw in years.

Two Tankers In Trouble

Out on the seas, the conditions were even worse. Any ship or boat still on the east coast were facing high winds, snow mixed with freezing sea spray, and waves over 50 feet high. It proved too much for two T2 tankers, Fort Mercer and the Pendleton, which were forced to ride out the storm because the poor visibility and weather conditions prevented them from safely navigating to their destination.

T2 tankers, which were hastily built during WW2, are commonly made of dirty steel (steel weakened by excess sulfur) and known to crack in high seas and cold temperatures. This is exactly what happened to the two aforementioned ships, and the two halves of both ships were now at the mercy of the elements.

U.S. Coast Guard to the Rescue!

In the photo above, there is a small boat. This was the standard lifeboat of the US Coast Guard. It is a 36 foot boat with a 160 hp engine, and built to carry 12 people. Imagine receiving orders to rescue people stranded on a broken-half of a tanker in weather conditions that could sink it at any moment, not mentioning the lifeboat itself. It must have felt like a suicide mission. Yet that was exactly the orders given to both Bernie Webber and Donald Bangs, to skipper a lifeboat out in the tumultuous waves.

Crew Members of the Pendleton

CG36500's Crew
CG36500's Crew | Source

My Personal Thoughts...

While the rescue itself was an amazing one, and in fact involved much more than just the two skippers and their respective boats and crews, the book itself could’ve been better in my opinion. It was good, and if I were to rate it out of 5 stars, I would give it 3.5 stars. When I was finished reading it, I knew immediately that it wasn’t necessarily one of the best I’ve read, and yet, it was the why that puzzled me. If somebody would’ve asked me what I thought about it, I would’ve said, “I don’t know, it’s just….” Then emptiness…

It took some thinking to put into words what was lacking, but I came to the ah-ha moment. What this book failed to do is make me feel like I was actually there. There’s a big difference between telling and showing a story through writing. The author didn’t show me what it was like facing 50-plus foot waves with a small lifeboat; it just told me that there were 50-plus foot waves. I’m sure it was scary, and it did tell what went through Webber’s mind several times, but again, it told me.

The Pendleton
The Pendleton | Source

In Conclusion...

Perhaps I’m being too hard on the author/s; they definitely did their research. Or maybe I’m too used to fiction, and for nonfiction, perhaps as a general rule the style is a bit different. Whatever it may be, I won’t discourage anybody to read this book, it just wasn’t an edge-of-the-seat book. If anybody wants to read it, I’ll be curious to hear their thoughts. Please take the time to comment below!

If you read this book...

Did you like this book?

See results

© 2016 ProjectResolute


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)