This is the story of the USS Houston, a post WW1 light cruiser, which was put into action in the Pacific early in WW2. The ship was old, and lacked much of the newer technology of the day. Despite her shortcomings, her crew was the best of the best.
The book details how the Houston, and the rest of the aging asiatic fleet, were left for dead in the Pacific...with no hope of reinforcements. It goes into detail about how the crew of the cruiser fought to the bitter end, even when completely surrounded by dozens of Japanese ships. Finally, the book gives us a look into life in the POW camps where the surviving members of the Houston stayed for three years following the ships sinking. The book is VERY well written, with many first-person accounts.