I am so pleased I've read this. After 'On the Beach' I had not really wanted to read another by Shute but 'A Town Like Alice' is as uplifting as 'On t...moreI am so pleased I've read this. After 'On the Beach' I had not really wanted to read another by Shute but 'A Town Like Alice' is as uplifting as 'On the Beach' is depressing. Set in Malaya during the Japanese occupation we follow the forced itinerant wanderings of the female prisoners of war as each commanding officers tries to avoid the drain on his resources feeding these people requires. The women wander with a dwindling handful of guards from village to village. With the death of their final guard they offer the village headman to work for their upkeep if they can remain together and settle. The village helps them deal with the Japanese and the women become a part of the village life until the end of the occupation. In post war Britain we hear Jean Paget's story of this time and how she survived as she relates it to her friend and her estate trustee Mr. Stachen. Jean has inherited from her Uncle an estate that is held in trust until she reaches 35. Her first desire is to return to Malaya to visit the village who sheltered her for so many years. While there she learns what became of the Australian Joe Harman who had been tortured for helping the women. Jean had thought him dead but finds he survived. Now she wishes to go to Australia to find Joe Harmon and see the Australia he so dearly loved and described to her when they were both prisoners of the Japanese.(less)
Those who attempt the risk have the chance to win. Finding the moment and taking the chance Miss Pettigrew finds a day of joy with a brighter future t...moreThose who attempt the risk have the chance to win. Finding the moment and taking the chance Miss Pettigrew finds a day of joy with a brighter future to follow.
This story is the type to read when the world seems too grey to bear, it brings zest and color back with wry humour. (less)
This was a simply told biography about the state, the town, the people and the cat they all came to know. I have a lot of respect for Ms Myron's abili...moreThis was a simply told biography about the state, the town, the people and the cat they all came to know. I have a lot of respect for Ms Myron's ability to relate some very difficult and personal stories about her family's struggles to the town's history and to Dewey's trials. This story is sensitive and comforting while never whitewashing the hardships of life.
This is a small point but one that truly startled me. Ms Myron tells one anecdote of Dewey meeting a bat and she admits amidst her story that she despises bats. I found her antipathy not uncommon but my personal prejudice or stereotypical image that all librarians are liberal and environmentally educated was abruptly altered. She did not mention any redeeming quality she knew of such as how bats play a key role in pest management nor did she vilify them as disease carriers. She simply stated she disliked them and told of Dewey's agitation when one was trapped in the library one night. However it bothered me that this story still left the idea that bats were somehow dirty since Dewey was mentioned as 'protecting' in his behavior rather that just hunting as cats do with small flying prey. I would have felt better, given that many youngsters will read this book and be swayed that Ms Myron's antagonistic attitude is justified, if it was explained as a biased view due to a phobia and balanced with what value bats really offer. It is the perpetuation of these misconceptions about bats that have allowed the bat populations to be so drastically reduced until the one reliable nocturnal insect control is at risk of extinction in many locations. This is a minor point to quibble over in a book I enjoyed but one that disturbed me since it seemed out of sync with the tone of the rest of the book. (less)
Tevra, a Colonel in the Light Cavalry, has been sent to relieve the corrupt representative of the King in the vassal Forest-Kingdom. There she deals w...moreTevra, a Colonel in the Light Cavalry, has been sent to relieve the corrupt representative of the King in the vassal Forest-Kingdom. There she deals with things military and things unexplainable with near unshakable aplomb. Or she does until things get outside the military guide lines she has built her life and veer into the personal. It seems her second in command and the once Forest King are setting for a conflict but of a personal nature where she has no command. Tevra trusts Hetwith, her second, implicitly from years of shared campaining but had little understanding of him as a person. Their relations as officer and subordinate stand as a part of the conflicts that arise with the Forest people's ex-King Dard. Astonishingly strong characters in this novel. By far the best this author wrote. (less)
A series of vignettes that capture a woman and her view of her family. This is a woman who weighs the intimacies of family very highly. For her a diar...moreA series of vignettes that capture a woman and her view of her family. This is a woman who weighs the intimacies of family very highly. For her a diary is one of those trivial objects made momentous by its "terrible intimacy", and the dull brown calf one she had first chosen for 3s.9d. would not do, instead she chooses to honor those intimacies in a diary in green lizard at 7s.6d.
"Mrs. Miniver was created when Peter Fleming, brother of Ian, asked Jan to brighten up the Court Page of The Times: he said it was full of articles about woodpeckers and stoats". He asked her to write about "an ordinary sort of woman who leads an ordinary sort of life -- rather like yourself", but he knew her as a woman of perception and very talented. He got Caroline Miniver and her three children Vin, Judy and Toby.
It was published in 1939, just after the outbreak of war.