Just finished rereading this one, and it's my favorite Shute novel and one of my favorite books of all time, notwithstanding the sexism of the era and the rather quaint and patronizing view taken of "Asiatics". For the time it was entirely enlightened.
Nevil Shute was a great writer and a wonderful person. Aviation in his time did for those few people who pursued it what the internet does in ours for everyone: makes the world into our own small neighborhood. Connie is one of my favorite characters in all of literature. Though we only hear a bit of his philosophy, it's enough to see the outlines of his path, a form of devotion applicable to Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, or whatever religion one follows, and brought to bear upon the whole of one's life. To be a very good aircraft mechanic one must become a very good person. As an engineer, designer, builder, and mom, I do aspire to be a Shaklinist.