Heartbreakingly beautiful. A story of a world post-nuclear apocalypse. This novel takes place in 1950's (and was written in 1957). Australia as the Cold War results in a nuclear showdown. The Northern Hemisphere is already all dead and this is the story about an Australian Naval officer, a U.S. Naval officer and the people of Melbourne as they wait for the radioactive cloud to come south and kill them all. Told with compassion and yet seemingly realistic. Not the free-for-all you'd expect. Then again, these people have time on their hands before death comes to them. Some of the language is pretty dated, but the story really is timeless and timely given the current state of our world.
One caution: this book has been giving me nightmares about Nuclear Holocaust and the aftermath. So, if you're sensitive to things like that, don't read it.
Otherwise, I'd give this a hearty recommendation.