Merchant ship the USS Contessa, a “banana boat” owned by a fruit company, traveled with a hold full of refrigerated bananas while the upper decks held passengers willing to save a little money on a cruise by traveling with the smelly fruit! (I can’t stand bananas–especially the smell!!!) Then World War II happens and the ship is needed for other uses.
What I Liked:
I enjoyed the stories of the people–Captain John, George Patton, Lord Louis [the reader said ‘Lewis’] Mountbatten, Walter Cronkite and a host of others. This part of the book was very lively and engaging as was other parts of the back story, such as the story of the movie Casablanca or the beginnings of the OSS/CIA.
What I Didn’t Like:
The author seemed to be stuck in the convoy systems zig-zagging. I never felt the story come together. It was more like a string of anecdotes than a history of the ship’s service.