Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Town Like Alice

A Town Like AliceA Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started reading this book expecting several different things. I expected a dry read with a lot of boring commentary. I expected a romance driven novel. Instead this book gripped me from the second paragraph (the first paragraph took a few re-reads before it made sense) as a story of survival, humanity even in the worst conditions and okay, yeah, there was a love story too.

The dialogue was brilliantly written, I could hear Jean's voice clearly - complete with British accent - although towards the later half of the book I lost some of that voice. The point of view was rather unique in that the story was told by a character completely outside of the story. Some of the plot devices were rather unique in order to bring the narrator into the story and to get Joe's point of view across. Again this was brilliantly done until the last half of the book, then I felt there was too much detail that a young woman in her 20's would surely not tell such a grandfatherly figure.

I enjoyed this book alot overall, despite a few disappointments during the reading. I would definitely put it on my list of books to read again.

Synopsis: 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 is back in England, the nightmare behind her. However, an unexpected inheritance inspires her to return to Malaya to give something back to the villagers who saved her life. But it turns out that they have a gift for her as well: the news that the young Australian soldier, Joe Harmon, who had risked his life to help the women, had miraculously survived. Jean’s search for Joe leads her to a desolate Australian outpost called Willstown, where she finds a challenge that will draw on all the resourcefulness and spirit that carried her through her war-time ordeals.

Recommended Reading:
Pied Piper by Nevil Shute
The Breaking Wave by Nevil Shute
On The Beach by Nevil Shute
The Road From Coorain by Jill Conway
The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall

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