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Preview — A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
A Town Like Alice
Jean Paget, a young Englishwoman living in Malaya, is captured by the invading Japanese and forced on a brutal seven-month death march with dozens of other women and children. A few years after the war, Jean...more
In short, I loved it. A Town Like Alice follows Jean Paget, a Scottish woman who was raised by her parents in Malay (now known a ...more
A Town Like Alice starts off fairly dry, with a narrative by an old English attorney (who will continue to be the narrator of the story). He sets up the premise of why young Jean Paget, our heroine, comes to receive an inheritance. It's the early 1950's, and the old attorney and Jean form a friendship due to the fact that ...more
This is a love story, but not a romance. There's no sex, no sappiness, no gasping or google eyes. Just a lot of hardship, hard work, and, most notably, hope.
Jean Paget and Joe Harman meet in Malaya during World War II. She is British, he Australian, and both are prisoners of the Japanese. Joe sacrifices all to provide a little food for Jean's bedraggled group of women ...more
When I began to read Shute's book, I quickly fell into it. Noel Strachan is perhaps one of the most charming narrators I've encountered. Shute's use of the aging British Solicitor to unveil the story of Jean Paget drew me into the tale.
It was a simple enough matter. Strachan was hired to write the will an ...more
" Nevil Shute's most beloved novel, a tale of love and war, follows its enterprising heroine from the Malayan jungle during World War Two to the rugged Australian outback"
Having read the blurb on this novel I was really looking forward to reading this story as it was described as "Entertaining" and "Dramatic" but unfortunately for me I neither found the book Dramatic or entertaining and really could only be pushed to describing it as a pleasant read that is neith ...more
That depth is in the characters and in the modest, yet compelling way the author describes as positive progress the way development can happen and economies can be created out of the will for ...more
While this book is an enjoyable read I believe that it hasnt dated that well and is quite racist in parts particularly against the Aboriginal people. Some of the language and terms used tended to jar with me and left me feeling quite uncomfortable. Although written in 1949 I still feel that the ...more
A story of a young woman who inherits some money. The story is told from the attorney who manages her estate. She tells him about her experiences in Singapore during the war when the Japanese invade the English colony where she was just a young woman who was there working temporarily. There is nothing very special abou ...more
Considered a classic and one of the top 100 of all time, I can totally understand why, even if I don't completely agree. This is a rather quiet yet moving story taken from the real life experience of a young woman during WWII who was captured and spent two years as a POW in Asia participating in the woman's version of the long walk, her life after and the love she finds amidst the horror. It's very interesting, if not riveting. It slows considerably after her war experience, however, stil ...more
With this simple statement, the main protagonist of A Town Like Alice hints at the depths of the misery that she and her companions endured while prisoners of the Japanese during WW2 in Malaya. This group of British women and children were subjected to appalling conditions and g ...more
When we first meet Jean Paget , she appears as a quiet, unassuming young woman , who has suddenly inherited a large sum of money.
Jean's story gradually unfolds as she tells of the terrible ordeal she suffered through on a death march in Malaya , at the hands of the Japanese during WW II . It is then that we discover that she has guts, heart and smarts .
As the story proceeds , we learn just how courageous and savvy , she really is . After going back to Malaya to ...more
The basis of A Town Like A ...more
It is based on a real part of WWII history in which British women prisoners were marched under Japanese guard for months. The female lead character, Jean Pargeter, used her wits to stay alive and help others as well. Later on, after she was free again, she used her wits again to transform her adopted home, Willstown, into a "bonzer town" as ...more
Kuala means the mouth of a river.
"People who spent the war in prison camps have written a lot of books about what a bad time they had,"..."they don't know what it was like, not being in a camp."
This book was originally published as "The Legacy".
This is the story of Jean Paget, a Scottish woman, who was captured together with 80 women and children by the Japanese during World War II in Malaya, when they have been forced to walk through the jungle trails for more than 1200 miles.
I was fully engaged in this story while it was focused on the war in Malaya, but lost i ...more
the book is told by an english lawyer who finds the heir to a trust, a young woman who has already had a lifetime of experience living out the second world war in malaysia, under japanese occupancy. the bulk of t ...more
So, what makes a happy ending when our topic is war? So many of the war novels & biographies I've read take the reader through the war, and wrap up with an ending of hope just as V-day comes or the troops arrive to rescue the POWs. After a brief denouement, the reader is ushered away from the scene with a vague ...more
The first half of the book describes an English woman’s experiences as a prisoner of war in British Malaya during WWII. She, along with a group of other women and children, are forced to walk from place to place for many months (10+ miles a day) throughout the country with some Japanese guards and battle hunger and sickness and death. She shows ...more
Based on a true story that took place during the second world war, a group of women with their children are forced to walk across entire Malaysia because none of the Japanese officers want the trouble ...more
Nevil paints a fascinating and honest picture of the Australian outback and the attitudes that mark our racial and economic history. When the two charact ...more
As the novel progresses, though, the plot turns to a very satisfying love story.
It was written in the 1950s, so some of the language and attitudes are dated.
The protagonist is intelligent, kind and hard-working. And, as my sister said, ...more
I watched the miniseries adaption by PBS/BBC in the 1980's, and was absolutely enthralled. I had always meant to read the book, and now, only 30 years later, I have.
There are two distinct, but related, parts to this book: first, a truly harrowing tale of a group of British women who were captured by the Japanese in Malaya in 1942, and secon ...more
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"That's as it may be," he replied. "The fact is, that you did it.”
"Don't worry about me," he said. "You've got enough troubles on your own plate, my word. But we'll come out all right, so long as we just keep alive, that's all we got to do. Just keep alive another two years, till the war's over.”