A Town Like Alice
Nevil Shute’s most beloved novel, a tale of love and war, follows its enterprising heroine from the Malayan jungle during World War II to the rugged Australian outback.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This story is basically a love story and a celebration of a woman with a lot of strength and character; a topic that maybe wasn't as well explored in the late 40's as it is today. What made this story more interesting than today's exploration is that this woman, Jean Paget, while doing extraordinary things, is...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
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
Jane Paget is a young English woman working in Malaya at the time of the Japanese invasion. She, along with 31 other women and children are marched around Malaya in an attempt by the Japanese to not have to deal with them. The first part of the book focuses o...more
I had no idea what it was about except the Alice in the title referred to Alice Springs. So, the story as it plays out took me by complete surprise. A pleasant one too.
After a brief first act set in post war Britain to set the scene we...more
The book is narrated by the London lawyer (Noel), a widower around 70, who was the uncle's solicitor and the trustee of the trust in which Jean's inheritance would reside until she was 35. Noel and Jean become good friends and Jea...more
Alice would most appropriately conform to the genre of the sociological novel. The book portrays a community and how it deals with the changes due to world conflicts. In the post World War II aftermath, Jean Paget was quite anxious to escape from Malasia back to England, never thinking she would ever again see this place that held the multitude of horrible memories she now possessed. When she inherited a legacy, that all transfigured and she decided to thank the small village that took her and t...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
Share This Book
"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.”