Unusual and Compelling
I'm a solid Nevil Shute fan. Mr. Shute didn't write about good vs evil, nor bad people vs good people. His stories are about good people caught in difficult circumstances. His protagonists are ethical, thoughtful, and refreshingly moral. In Trustee from the Toolroom, we have a self-effacing and seemingly unremarkable, childless engineer and his wife who suddenly must care for their niece. He faces difficult decisions about her future and, in solving her problems, find that his quiet skills and character propel him into a different future for them all.
My favorite novel by him is A Town Like Alice, and this one runs a close second. Right up there is The Breaking Wave (American title)/Requiem for a Wren (British title). Mr. Shute was an early engineer in the aviation industry, starting a small design and manufacturing company in England. He wrote novels on the side for relaxation. He moved to Australia during his last years to write full-time, dying of a heart ailment at age 61. His daughter reported that the stress he felt over the immorality filmmakers inserted into the movie version of On the Beach probably contributed to his demise. Several of his books were made into films (of special note: A Town Like Alice, a miniseries on PBS).